LAS VEGAS – Trent Lockett is back in the desert.
It’s just not the Arizona desert.
The one-time Sun Devil is playing summer league basketball for the Sacramento Kings.
In his first game, he scored eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, including hitting his one and only three-point field goal attempt.
“First experience and it was a great experience,” said Lockett, who finished with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block shot in 21:47 off the bench in a 76-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Saturday at the Cox Pavilion.
“For my first professional game, I couldn’t ask for very much more.”
It was the type of stat-stuffing performance ASU fans had grown accustomed to seeing from the 6-foot-5 guard during his three seasons in Tempe.
Lockett, though, left the Sun Devil family after his junior year to be closer to his immediate family, specifically his mom, Judy, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. (Lockett said now she’s doing very well.)
With the blessing from head coach Herb Sendek, Lockett, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, transferred to Marquette, where he was immediately eligible to play after earning his bachelor’s degree in business communication at ASU.
“My whole life was flipped upside down,” Lockett said of the move. “Whether it was basketball, living experience — like literally everything was different, but given that, I loved my experience at Marquette. I wouldn’t have traded it. I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot from that program. It was really, really life-changing, but in a good way.”
And while Lockett, who spent two weeks after the NBA draft with his mom, may have been more than 1,700 miles away in Milwaukee, he always kept an eye on his former team and teammates.
“Of course,” Lockett said. “I’m a Sun Devil for life. It was fun to watch them grow. It was just good to kind of see them get on the right track and obviously, Jahii (Carson) coming in made a big difference. I look forward to more success in the upcoming years.”
Leading up to the draft, Lockett said he worked out for six or seven teams, including the Kings.
“I really enjoyed the experience,” he said referring to his visit to Sacramento. “The area seemed great and I really, really liked the culture of the coaches and just everybody, the executives.”
It made sense then for the 22-year-old to agree to join the Kings when they called with an offer to join them for the NBA Summer League.
“The whole coaching staff is really a hard-nosed defense and rebounding coaching staff and I feel like that fit me best,” he said. “I really am blessed to have this opportunity.”
With four more games, including Monday against Golden State, Lockett is unsure what awaits when the week ends.
“All I can really control is how hard I work and my motivation,” he said. “Going undrafted obviously is plenty motivation in and of itself.”