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Wages breaking down barriers

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The former Chatfield and Mines basketball standout is taking his game overseas

By Michael Hicks

The numbers don’t lie. Trevor Wages had an exemplary basketball career while at the Colorado School of Mines.

The 6-foot-9, 255-pound center led the Orediggers in scoring (13.7 points per game), rebounds (9.4 rpg) and blocked shots (2.1) en route to a second straight first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection. The mechanical engineering major holds the school record for blocked shots in a season (62) and career (162), and he’s one of just three players in the program’s history to record 1,000 career points (1,116) and 1,000 rebounds (1,029).

But what the 2010 Chatfield Senior High graduate really needed to get recruited to the next level — the professional ranks — was a highlight package. He had the perfect introductory piece courtesy of his backboard-shattering slam dunk Feb. 8, 2013, at Metro State.

“It’s amazing the amount of people who have seen that and will recognize me on the street,” Wages said. “I get asked every day or two whether or not that was me breaking the backboard.”

Indeed, it was him, and it’s a blessing that it was. The two-handed jam not only broke the backboard, but it delayed the game for two days. It also served as the eye-popping attention-grabber that he needed.

Wages leaves in less than two weeks for Vienna, Austria, to play for Europe’s Division II Vienna Timberwolves franchise. It was one of multiple teams to offer him an opportunity to play overseas.

“I’m extremely excited. I can’t wait to go out there and play basketball. It was the best opportunity, the best team that I could’ve asked for to start off my European career,” Wages said.

He signed a one-year contract with a player option for a second season. The team will pay him a stipend while also providing housing, utilities and meals.

This is on the heels of being one of six players brought in by the Denver Nuggets for a pre-NBA Draft workout in June. Scouting directors saw film of Wages, including the backboard video, online. They noticed his athleticism for a big man and how agile and physical he is on the court.

“I was playing against more athletic, even stronger players than I am. It was a great experience, and it showed me that even though I may have been the best player in my division and position that there is more talent out there,” Wages said. “I’ve got to work harder to get another tryout next year.”

But it was Wages’ play at Mines that opened doors. The unique platform that the Division II school offered him has given Wages the opportunity to succeed thus far.

“This is a big step in my life. I hope that it pays off,” Wages said.

Everything else has thus far.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.