Vail’s Trent Beckley back on the court |

Vail’s Trent Beckley back on the court

Tom Kensler
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Published: Special to the Daily/Kara K. Pearson

BOULDER – Trent Beckley can joke he may be the first player – or at least one of the few – to be picked up by a Division I men’s basketball team from a fitness center during the semester break.

In this case, Colorado knows what it’s getting with the 6-foot-9, 235-pound senior.

A graduate of the Class of 2006 at Battle Mountain, Beckley was a walk-on for the Buffaloes from 2006 until last spring. He sat out his past two seasons, however, with a stress fracture in his back and then reactive arthritis in his left leg. The arthritis was caused by a serious intestinal infection.

Tuesday was Beckley’s first practice. He had been working as personal trainer at a 24-Hour Fitness center in Dallas when he got the itch to play again and complete requirements for a degree in finance with a semester of classes.

“I feel great now, and if I can just get some luck on my side with my health, I can help this team,” Beckley said Tuesday.

A former standout with the Huskies’ last and only Western Slope title team in 2006, Beckley played in just 10 games during his two healthy seasons, with his freshman year coming under coach Ricardo Patton and his sophomore season under Jeff Bzdelik.

Beckley has scored only six points in college, but his value to this Colorado team could become more important than his background may suggest. Beckley is not afraid to mix it up in the paint.

CU has lacked a physical presence underneath since 6-foot-11 sophomore Shane Harris-Tunks was lost for the season after a torn ACL in a preseason practice.

“They’re going to let me bang inside, and that’s what I do,” said Beckley, who had been playing pick-up basketball in Dallas during his spare time.

Beckley said his goal is to have learned the offense well enough to play within two weeks. He is not expected to suit up tonight for Colorado’s final nonconference game, at home against Western New Mexico.

Even if CU coach Tad Boyle uses Beckley sparingly and only to give fouls, it will have been worth it, Beckley said.

“Nobody owes me anything,” Beckley said. “If I don’t play a minute, I’m excited to be a part of this team. But I will (play).”

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