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How UNLV-bound Trey Woodbury is preparing for his Rebel debut


Wade Vandervort

UNLV recruit Trey Woodbury trains in preparation to join the Rebel basketball program at Game Changers Sports club, Friday, March 23, 2018.

Each week, Trey Woodbury tries to take one day off.

He tells himself to take a break from the grind — lifting weights, agility drills, shooting exercises, etc. — and just get some rest. Perhaps a leisurely Saturday or Sunday on the couch to let his body recover, with no gym in sight.

But that's not going to happen.

Woodbury has been on a mission over past two months, with a very specific goal: To get himself as physically prepared as possible for collegiate basketball. To that end, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound shooting guard is putting himself through a next-level workout regimen designed to give him a head start on the rest of the 2018 class.

It's been a tumultuous 10 months for Woodbury. He committed to UNLV during the summer of 2017 as a heralded local prospect, then went into his senior year of high school expecting to lead his Clark squad back to the state championship game. Instead, a disagreement with his high-school coach saw Woodbury dismissed from the team in January.

With his final season cut short, Woodbury was left looking for direction. After spending a week gathering his thoughts and contemplating his next move, he found a way to fill the void by dedicating himself to getting ready for the next phase of his basketball career.

"I'm in constant contact always with the UNLV coaches," Woodbury says. "They said 'You've got to move forward and get ready to be a Rebel,' so that's what I did."

Woodbury solicited advice from his AAU coaches with the Vegas Elite program, got input from the UNLV coaching staff, and collaborated with a personal trainer to craft a workout plan. Then he got busy.

On a recent Friday afternoon, Woodbury was at Game Changers Sports, a high-tech gym co-owned and operated by Mel Spicer. During the 90-minute session, Spicer, a former college football player and Navy SEAL, put Woodbury through a battery of exercises designed to improve his agility and explosiveness.

Woodbury started out with footwork drills, then lifted weights on a hydraulic resistance machine, then completed a series plyometric box jumps. Then he side-shuffled on a high-speed inclined treadmill before wrapping up with a series of explosive sprints. Then he retreated to the sauna, followed by a quick sub-zero stint in a cryotherapy chamber.

Rebel Recruit Trey Woodbury Training

UNLV recruit Trey Woodbury trains in preparation to join the Rebel basketball program at Game Changers Sports club, Friday, March 23, 2018. Launch slideshow »

It's an immersive workout, and while Woodbury isn't a bodybuilder at heart, he powers through with full intensity.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm not one of those guys that's in love with [lifting] weights and going to the gym," Woodbury says. "I love getting in the gym and getting shots up. That's my favorite thing, getting shots up and getting dribbling down. In terms of weights and workouts, I don't dread it, but I don't love it. But I know it's going to pay off."

Spicer commends Woodbury's determination when it comes to the non-basketball aspects of the training regimen.

"He doesn't complain," Spicer says. "It doesn't matter how he feels. He'll look like he could die every time, but he doesn't say anything. He's got work ethic."

While most of the guidance Woodbury received from UNLV was general, he says the coaching staff did highlight two specific areas of his game to sharpen before he gets to campus.

"Talking with the UNLV coaches, some of the things I needed to make sure I have down so I can be productive next year is getting my shot ready and my lateral quickness. I need to be able to shoot consistently and efficiently, so I've been working on my shot a lot. And I need to be quicker and moving better laterally, so I've been doing a lot of that, too."

Woodbury works out with Spicer three days per week and does basketball-specific exercises six days per week under the tutelage of a variety of trainers like Vegas Elite coaches Brian Sitter and Rich Thornton. That seventh day is supposed to be a rest day, but Woodbury inevitably gets antsy and goes out in search of a game.

"I try to have one day a week where I take off everything," Woodbury says, "but most of the time it doesn't happen."

When he wants to get in some pickup ball on the weekends, he heads to a local YMCA, where he can be found running full-court games with friends like Jamal Bey of Bishop Gorman, Frankie Collins of Clark, Marvin Coleman of Foothill and Cam Burist of Liberty.

While he would have preferred to play out his senior season the way he envisioned, leading his Clark teammates on a quest for a state championship, Woodbury has turned the situation into a positive by turning his full attention to UNLV.

"It definitely motivated me, and it felt like more of a push and a head start than a setback for me," he says.

He's spent the past two months making the most of that head start, and he's got another three months before he's set to enroll at UNLV and begin working with the team on-campus. For Woodbury, that can't come fast enough.

"I'm pretty excited," he says. "High school is getting kind of boring now. I just want to get on and get in there and start playing, so I'm pretty excited for the season."

Once he's officially a Runnin' Rebel, Woodbury is convinced that his maniacal training will maximize his opportunity to earn playing time right away. And that will make the past three months — all the early alarms, all the jump-roping, all the sweat — worth it.

"I think overall I can make an impact on the game," Woodbury says. "I don't have to be necessarily 20 points per game next year and big numbers, but I think I can come in and get double digit points, some rebounds, some assists and just overall make an impact on the team. Wherever my minutes come from, if I end up starting or coming off the bench, whatever it is, I just feel like I can make an impact next year."

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

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