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Thank you Travis

By Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune, 03/24/12, 11:37PM CDT


DeLaSalle sophomore center Reid met the challenge to help beat Washburn and win the 3A title.

Class 3A Boys Prep Basketball Championship - DeLaSalle vs. Minneapolis Washburn. Washburn's Joseph Doby (40) and DeLaSalle's Reid Travis (22) fought for control of a rebound. (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mlevison@startribune.com

Reid Travis arrived Saturday at Target Center knowing the task ahead of him. Nothing short of the game of his life was needed to help DeLaSalle beat Minneapolis Washburn for the Class 3A championship. And that is what he expected to give.

It was what the muscular 6-foot-6 sophomore center didn't expect that provided the inspiration. His older brother Jonah, a freshman basketball player for Harvard who could be Reid's twin, walked into the Islanders' locker room. Reid Travis didn't know -- in fact, no one in the entire Travis family knew -- that Jonah was coming home.

"He was shocked," said Jonah, an All-Metro center at DeLaSalle last year.

Reid Travis responded by putting the Islanders on his rather large back for much of the game. He scored DeLaSalle's first nine points and finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds, both team highs, as the Islanders downed Washburn 57-56 in overtime.

"He flew home just to be here for this," Reid said of his brother's surprise. "It was unbelievable."

It's been a good year all around for the Travis family, which lives just a short walk from DeLaSalle's Nicollet Island location. Not only did Reid develop into a player to be reckoned with, but Jonah was a member of Harvard's first-ever NCAA tournament team.

"It's a great time for us," Jonah said. "I'm so proud right now."

Saturday night belonged to Reid. Faced with Washburn's athletic front line and relentless approach, he knew a battle was in store. He was determined, he said, to give as much as he received.

"My mindset was to be as physical as possible," he said. "I wasn't going to back down."

With Travis patrolling the lane, Washburn found many of its shots contested and had fewer second-chance opportunities. With a lifetime of playing against Jonah, who defined DeLaSalle's aggressive style during his time there, Reid had little trouble asserting himself Saturday.

"It has helped me out so much playing against [Jonah]," he said. "He has been a big influence."

Jonah insists that he wins the one-on-one battles when the brothers square off at home. "He's about an inch taller than me," Jonah said, "but he doesn't have the muscle yet."

Now Reid Travis has one thing that Jonah doesn't: a state title. "It's a great feeling to get that one under my belt," Reid said. "It means all the hard work is paying off."

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