Former basketball standout Troy Bell spent four years leading the Stars on the court.
Bell averaged 35.9 points per game as a senior and led the state in scoring. He went on to thrive at Boston College, where he was the Big East Player of the Year as a sophomore and a senior. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2003 and has since spent time in the NBA Development League and in Europe.
Bell spent Summer 2011 in the Howard Pulley Pro-Am Summer League and recently talked to Richfield Patch about his pro basketball career and his time at Holy Angels.
Richfield Patch: You had a great high school career at Holy Angels. Do you think back to those times?
Troy Bell: I always go to Holy Angels, because I talk to the kids all the time. Larry (McKenzie) is coaching over there, but even before that I would try to help out with their camps. I am always over there.
Richfield Patch: What stands out as some of the best memories from there?
Troy Bell: We didn’t really any major moments because De LaSalle beat us three times in a row to go to the state tournament, but it was always a challenge. Every night was a challenge. We worked hard together. We didn’t always have the best talent. We probably never had the best talent, but we tried to work hard together and it was like a brotherhood. Those are the types of things I really think back about. I am thankful for the personal records, but that is never what stands out in my mind when I think back about the good times of any season.
Richfield Patch: You played the last couple of years in Italy and France. What are the plans for the upcoming season?
Troy Bell: I will actually know [soon] My agent called me and said that there are some teams interested. He didn’t really give me any of the country’s names, but if I had guess, I would probably say that Italy is on the list again.
Richfield Patch: What is the experience like playing overseas and how is it different than what most fans might expected?
Troy Bell: I think the biggest adjustment for anybody has got to be the language barrier and being away from your family. I feel that if you love the game or anything in life, you have to make compromises. You have to make adjustments. For me, it started out being tough. It took a little while to get used to, but now that I have adjusted, I am appreciative of the experience and it really is fulfilling on many levels, if you are open-minded enough to enjoy it past trying to make a living.
Richfield Patch: Do you still think about trying to play in the NBA or are you happy there?
Troy Bell: I feel like the NBA is one of those situations where you have a small window. Regardless of the reason, you have to be ready when you get there. For me, I went into a situation where the coach (Hubie Brown) didn’t really play rookies at all. I got injured and from there, it was a wrap. But that’s life. You get opportunities and sometimes, you can’t make the most of them for a variety of reasons and you’ve got to move on.
Richfield Patch: Is that tough? You were the 16th pick in the draft and had a great college career and probably thought that you were going to be in the NBA for a long time.
Troy Bell: It was tough. It really was tough. I think the toughest part was that I knew that didn’t really get a chance and I was watching people that got drafted with me that I know that I am better than. That I played in the pre-draft camp. That I played in workouts and you are watching them continually making mistakes, continually getting opportunities. I played 34 minutes and had 11 points. I’ve watched people play countless games and I am watching like ‘Wow, is this really even happening?’ But, it is just a part of life.
Richfield Patch: You had an experiment as a boxer. Do you still train?
Troy Bell: I still train on my own. I still want to fight ... I only had two and won them both, but I want to have more. Boxing, I love it. I love the dedication, the commitment, the one-on-one.
Richfield Patch: Do think that helps you with basketball and does basketball helps you in terms boxing like quickness and footwork?
Troy Bell: It helps with coordination with your off-hand, throwing all those jabs. It’s unbelievable. I would advise anybody that play basketball, unless you are a LeBron [James], where you jump in the air and you can finish at the hoop every time. But if you are like me and you are small and you have to dip and dive and adjust in the air, nothing gives you that coordination like boxing.
Richfield Patch: You were the Big East Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior. You won the award as a senior over Carmelo Anthony, who won a national title at Syracuse. That’s pretty impressive that you were still named Player of the Year over him.
Troy Bell: I averaged 28 points a game. I set all the records. I am 13 points behind [former Syrcause guard Lawrence] Moten and he played 16 more games than me. I did what I could do. Honestly, I don’t think about it anymore. I feel that if you dwell on the past, you’re not focused enough on the future. I’m happy for what I did, but it is in the past. People tell me to go back to Boston all the time. I get notes on Facebook all the time. But, I’ll get back there when it is time. As of right now, I am just going to stay here, work out and do my music and stay in the best shape that I can.