By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Oxford Wildcats senior guard/forward Trey Townsend announced his commitment to Oakland University on Oct. 28.
Averaging 19 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior, the 6-foot-5 swingman established himself as one
of Oakland County’s top prospects and was a driving force behind the Wildcats’ first district title in a quarter century.
The continuation of a family tradition, both of Townsend’s parents – Skip and Nicole – also furthered their athletic and academic careers with the Golden Grizzlies. His younger brother, Zach, is a junior and a member of the school’s soccer and basketball teams. Rachel, his younger sister, is a freshman and was a part of Oxford’s volleyball team that advanced to the district championship game.
“I’ve been around Oakland my whole life, been going to games there for as long as I can remember,” Townsend said of his commitment.
“I have been going to camps there since I was about seven, just being around the campus and the atmosphere, I’ve got to know Coach Kampe pretty well, definitely feel like I have a good relationship with him. I felt like I fit there, like I was meant to go there.”
A nod to Greg Kampe’s impressive longevity, Trey will get the unique opportunity to play for the same head coach his father did. The 63-year-old Kampe has ran the Golden Grizzly program since 1984 and has won 355 games since taking the program to the Division I level in the 1999-2000 season.
Townsend also pointed out the pivotal role his Oxford coaches, namely varsity head coach Steve Laidlaw and junior varsity head coach/varsity assistant coach Joe Fedorinchik, played in helping him get to this point.
“Coach Laidlaw’s first year back at Oxford was my freshman year, so everyone was kind of getting used to the coaching transition. He really helped me develop my jump shot and that is a big part of why I’m getting the chance to play at the next level.”
Assuming the head coaching post at Oxford in the 2016-17 academic year, Laidlaw was an assistant coach on the Wildcats’ last district title-winning team in 1993. Previously serving as the head coach at Avondale, Laidlaw’s team posted a sparkling 23-2 record a year ago.
Possessing a rare combination of size, speed and ball-handling ability, Townsend’s versatility allows him to impact games in a variety of ways.
“That’s one of the things that helps me out the most,” he shared.
“I’m kind of in the middle that I’m pretty tall, but I think I’m pretty quick and athletic, too. It can make it difficult for other teams to decide if they want to stick a guard or a center on me. If it’s a guard, I can try to take him inside; if it’s a big, I can try to take him off the dribble.”
While the Wildcats did graduate seven seniors from last year’s team, Townsend still has goals for this year’s team to accomplish. Having sorted out his plans for after graduation, he is looking forward to the chance to attack this season with a narrow focus.
“My main goal is to compete for a league title, then try for another district title when it gets to that time,” Townsend said.
“We lost a lot of our core players from last year, but I think we have the talent, hard work and dedication to step up and make it happen.”
Undoubtedly, basketball is currently at the top of the priority list, but Townsend’s talents are not limited to the hardwood. He also stars on the school’s track and field team.
An All-State qualifier in the high jump last year, he and a couple of classmates are looking to add another event to that list this year.
“I also run the four-by-200-meter relay with my good friends Shane Ross and Scott Masterson — they’re a couple of great track athletes. We’re hoping to take that relay to states this year, as well.”
The 2019-20 Wildcats are set to tip off their season on Dec. 12 on the road against the Walled Lake Central Vikings. Oxford’s home-opener will take place on Dec. 17 against the Avondale Yellow Jackets.