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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
After stints at FAU and a community college, Trevor Bing lands at UC Santa Barbara.
By JOE SMITH
Published September 12, 2006
It has been a long two years for Trevor Bing.
The former Largo High star has played for two colleges in different states. He has recovered from a nagging ankle injury and fought off plenty of frustration.
But Bing's struggles were put in the past Sunday when he boarded a plane for California, where he will play for UC Santa Barbara's men's basketball program this fall. The Division I Gauchos (15-14) advanced to the Big West Conference quarterfinals last season.
"The past couple days, it's been hard to sleep cause I'm so excited," said Bing, who played for the Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington, N.C.) last season, and Florida Atlantic the year before. "It's been a long, hard road - but the hardest part is over with."
The 6-foot-3 sharp-shooter found his stroke at Cape Fear, where he led the Sea Devils to a 18-13 record and a playoff berth last season. Bing was second on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game and set a school record with 66 3-pointers. He made 46 percent of his field goals, shooting 81 percent from the free-throw line and 44 percent from 3-point range.
"He is a very good deep shooter, mature and ready to step into our situation," UC Santa Barbara coach Bob Williams said. "He is great at making open shots and I think he will really help open things up for our playmakers and drivers."
The future didn't seem as bright during Bing's freshman year at Florida Atlantic, where he played in just one game. He said he rolled his ankle badly his first week and spent some time on crutches. "It just wasn't the right fit - I didn't feel comfortable," he said.
Offered a fresh start at Cape Fear, Bing turned into a gym rat, often begging coaches for the keys to the facility. He said he felt a "sense of do-or-die, since it was my last chance."
"I just had to be patient," Bing said. "I know a lot of people who wouldn't have waited that long - would have given up. But there was never a doubt in my mind, I was going to make it."