Nov. 17, 2010
Trae Golden says he's just an average guy.
In many ways, that's true.
He plans on majoring in something in business, maybe focusing in marketing. At the same time, he admits that as a freshman, he understandably has no idea what job he'd want in the "real world."
Like a typical student, Golden is a fan of video games and plays his share of the latest Madden and NBA games. He grew up playing basketball with his friends and watching Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls on television.
But here is where Golden stops being the typical incoming student: he could one day be a playable character in an NBA game.
Golden, a guard from Powder Springs, Ga., hopes to immediately help Tennessee in any way he can. But he has his own checklist of impressive goals he wants to accomplish down the road: helping the Vols be in contention for Southeastern Conference and NCAA titles as well as earning All-SEC or maybe even All-America honors down the road.
When it comes to the future, well, Golden aims his sights high there too.
"You work so hard and if at the end of the day, you get an opportunity to play in the NBA, that would be a real blessing. That's what I work hard for," Golden said.
Golden's on-court accolades are already impressive, even before starting college. As a senior at McEachern High School he averaged 29.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game on his way to being named Mr. Basketball and earning first-team all-state honors in Georgia. He was also the first player in his school's history to score 2,000 career points.
He was a member of several traveling teams with now teammate and roommate Mcrae, including the 2010 adidas Nations U.S. National Team.
For Golden, basketball has always been the family game. No questions there. His father, Robert, and mother, Carolyn, both played the game in college. His sister, Ryan, played basketball as well.
He says he owes much of who he is to his family growing up, even adding that he probably picked up interview skills along the way because his parents are good communicators.
"I wouldn't be here without my sister and my mother and my father. They're all huge parts of my life and they're all great people."
Golden, who stands 6-foot-1, didn't just stop with basketball, however. Golden picked up just about every sport imaginable: football, baseball, soccer and even swimming.
"My whole family is athletic, so if I didn't do something, I wouldn't fit in," Golden joked.
Still, basketball remains the sport where he feels most at ease.
"When I'm on the court, I get that at-home feeling," Golden said. "I can have bad days, but when I come to practice, you're not even thinking about it. You're just playing your game."