The Frankston RSL Blues’ challenging start to the 2018 SEABL received a boost with the signing of 206cm (6’8″) forward Dan Trist who recently signed a two-year deal with reigning NBL champions Melbourne United.
“I wanted to make the most of my next opportunity with Melbourne [United],” explained Trist after recently joining the team on their Tasmanian road trip where they unfortunately went 0-2.
“It was a rough weekend for us. I like a lot of the pieces on the team though. The SEABL is a great league and is certainly another opportunity for me to learn and develop. There are a lot of guys pushing to make the NBL, trying to work their way into an NBL career.
“We played against Craig [Moller] on the weekend [against Hobart], and next weekend we will be taking on Peter Hooley [Ballarat]. It is great to have that talent in the league along with the young talent coming through too.”
Following a standout collegiate career at Lafayette, earning Australian College Player of the Year from The Pick and Roll after his senior year, Trist had spent the past three years playing in Europe, starting out with Oviedo in Spain before transitioning to IC Horsens in the Danish National League. He spent the European off-season in 2017 winning a Waratah League championship with the Norths Bears (23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists), before making a return to Spain to play with Ourense, missing out on finals after finishing in 14th place but avoiding relegation.
“After spending a week at home [in Sydney], I came down early and made the decision to play in the SEABL,” said Trist. “I had just one practice with the team, and jumped right in with them right away.
“Jumping in, some 7 games into the season, most teams had already signed their players. I was looking for a team needing someone in my position to play heavy minutes. Simon [Mitchell] who is an assistant coach at United and is coaching the Blues women, helped hook me up, and here I am now.”
Trist expressed a respect for Frankston’s background and history, and was well aware of the opportunity presented to him in suiting up for the Blues for the remainder of the season.
“Frankston is a good organisation and has a long history of playing in the SEABL and unearthing exceptional talent. You know – Dave [Andersen] and Rowdy [Ryan Broekhoff], so I recognised I have landed in a a good spot.”
Wasting no time, the forward was immediately thrust into the thick of the action, joining the team for the first time just prior to departing for the two game road trip to Tasmania for his first taste of SEABL action. In his Blues debut, Trist scored a team-high 22 points with 5 rebounds, albeit on 6-17 shooting, while shooting 10-11 from the free throw line in a 76-87 loss to North West Tasmania [box score]. He backed up to deliver a 21 point and 10 rebound double-double as the hot-shooting Hobart came away with a 12 point win [box score].
“Hobart was the second day of a back-to-back and we just didn’t come out as we would have liked and they shot the lights out. The North West game is one that got away from us though. Talking to the guys, that is something we can work on and not letting it slip out of our fingers.
“We’ve got talent – that’s not the issue. It is now just a matter of little things going our way, fixing the chemistry. Once we get everything going nicely, we will really challenge the better teams in the league.
We’ve got good size, good enough athleticism…it’s just a matter of putting teams away when you have them on the ropes. We need to improve our composure, taking accountability defensively, and make the team plays.”
Trist is determined to not just come in and put up numbers for the Blues, he is looking to win.
“I’ve come in aiming to do my best to help us win! That’s what I am aiming for. I will be physical, attack the basket, and hopefully be the physical presence the team needs.”
With Trist joining exciting import duo Sam Muldrow and Aaron Ross, coupled with Bennie Lewis, Rhys Carter and captain Jake McCauley and Rob Linton, the Blues have a core that can not only entertain but cause some damage throughout the rest of the season.