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Gary Trent, ‘The Shaq of the MAC,’ among seven inductees into MAC Hall of Fame


Phil Long/Akron Beacon Journal

During the 1990s Ohio University forward Gary Trent was one of the most dominant players in college basketball, racking up more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during his four seasons in Athens.

Trent’s dominance resulted in an outstanding nickname (“The Shaq of the MAC”) and a spot in the 1995 NBA Draft lottery (selected 11th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks).

On Thursday night Trent, whose jersey was retired by Ohio on January 21, 2012, was one of seven people inducted into the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame.

“When I was playing college ball I didn’t know this award [MAC Hall of Fame honor] even existed. I just went out and played hard, and I loved the game of basketball and I loved what I did,” Trent said during his induction speech.

In addition to Trent, the conference inducted Central Michigan baseball player/coach Dave Keilitz, Toledo women’s basketball star Kim Knuth, Miami University/Northern Illinois coach Bill Mallory (he also played at Miami University), Ball State football player Brad Maynard, Western Michigan football player John Offerdahl and Akron track and field athlete Christi Smith.

Trent helped lead the Bobcats to the NCAA tournament in 1994, and two of his teammates at Ohio were current Bradley head coach Geno Ford and current Ohio State assistant coach Jeff Boals.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.