Frankston RSL Blues star Dan Trist has been named to the 2018 All-SEABL Second Team after a brilliant first season in the league.

The 6’8 forward led the Blues in scoring and rebounding, averaging an impressive 25.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. His phenomenal output saw him finish second behind Hobart’s Tre Nichols (25.3ppg) in the league’s scoring chart, while he was fifth best across the competition for rebounding.

“Its a nice way to finish the season, but I would rather be playing,” explained Trist after receiving his award.

Trist was a model of consistency and efficiency, scoring 20 points or more in every one of his 13 games, including a season-high of 33 points against the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence on 16 June. He posted a remarkable 9 double-doubles while also shooting 51.2% from the field and 76.9% from the free throw line.

The Blues finished in second last place with a 4-16 record following their 70-86 loss to Bendigo in the final round of the season [box score]. Trist was again magnificent in pouring in 28 points with 15 rebounds.

In many ways, the Blues’ position in the standings belied their talent, as head coach Andrew Harms looked to rebuild the side and instill a new, positive, revitalise culture across the men’s program. The addition of Melbourne United recruit Trist who joined the side for their round 6 road trip to Tasmania, was a big step in the right direction. Trist’s experience in playing overseas in Europe and his overall professionalism, helped lift standards on an off the court.

“With the addition of Dan, not only as a club did we get a highly skilled, physical inside presence with great basketball IQ but we also got a highly competitive guy who assimilated to our clubs community culture and endeared himself to his teammates. We see Dan as a key center piece to our clubs future success and we are looking forward to him being a mentor to our next generation of blues stars.”

“The All-SEABL second team selection is a fantastic achievement. I truly believe if he played all season he would be hard to keep out of the SEABL all first team.”

Trist spoke glowingly of his his time with Frankston this season and believed the best was yet to come for the Blues.

“We have a really good group of core guys. The culture is great, and all the little stuff is locked in well. For us to take the next step, we need to find the right balance of players to complement that core.”

Depth proved to be a challenge for the Blues in season 2018. In a scenario all too regular, the Blues were often leading by double-digits in the third period only to be overrun down the stretch, leaving them with just 4 wins.

“There were stretches in almost every single game, where teams just did not know how to guard us,” Trist added. “There were a lot of games where we we up double digits in the third quarter, and we could not close out games like we wanted to. In many ways that’s a positive thing to take from the season…we were really giving it to teams. It is a depth thing going forward, and something that I am sure the coaching staff are looking at for next season.”

Having previously played in Denmark and Spain, Trist valued his experience in the SEABL, explaining that it was a very talented, fast-paced league.

“It [SEABL] is a very different league to those I have played in,” said Trist. “It is very up and down – a very fast-paced league.

“Teams are always looking to run and press, and the talent level is very good. There is some great young talent coming through, and then you throw in the vets and those with NBL experience — you can see why it is the premier winter league in Australia.”

After impressing with Frankston, Trist’s next stop is Melbourne United and his debut season in the NBL. It has been an opportunity long-coming for the Sydney-native, and the chance to suit up with Melbourne will also bring with it games against NBA teams.

“We will have our Australian core all assemble together over the month — the guys from SEABL and those playing in the New Zealand NBL,” outlined Trist. “We will then see what the situation is for our imports. We will be busy getting ready for the season, and of course a couple of NBA games will be nice too.

“It will be an awesome experience, something that we will use as a springboard for the season ahead, while being able to build chemistry.”

Trist was hopeful of returning to play for the Blues next season and the chance to continue building upon the foundations that have been laid.

It was a pleasure playing for Frankston and for the fans who had to endure some very cold weather,” said Trist. “It was a great experience, and despite wanting some more wins, I am very grateful to Frankston for the opportunity.”

While Trist may be grateful to Frankston, the Blues are just as thankful to Trist for his exploits on and off the court.