Earlier this summer, Travis Diener was quarantined for about two weeks with his fellow Golden Eagle/Marquette TBT Tournament down in Ohio. On a game televised on ESPN, Travis drilled a last second shot which gave the Golden Eagle team a win 78-73 over Sideline Cancer using the Elam Ending Scoring Method. We were able to catch up with Travis as he and his family were driving off to a well deserved family vacation.
Diener said that winning the TBT Tournament meant a lot because he and most of the players still represented Marquette. He said the team exemplified a combination of toughness and hard work and unlike previous teams, this 2020 TBT Marquette team were together and connected.
On the final play which ended the Tournament, Golden Eagle Coach Joe Chapman called a “side flair” play and he instructed Travis to line up in 3 pt. territory near the sideline on the right side. According to Travis, it was a broken play where Jamil Wilson was going to set a side screen for Dwight Buycks who was dribbling the ball up. Jamil had hit a big 3 on the last possession so Sideline Cancer team guarded him closely. Instead of forcing up a shot, Jamil Wilson threw the ball back to Buycks on the left hand side but Sideline Cancer jumped at him so he dumped it down to post Elgin Cook posting on the left block.
What Travis called “the best part of the final play” rather than shooting a short jump shot underneath, Cook drew the triple team and kicked it out to Diener who was wide open on the right hand side for the same clinching jumper.
Travis talks about the significant bar tab that he paid for at “The Press Box Pub” up in Fond du Lac where his dad was watching the championship game.
I mentioned to Travis that the first time I ever saw him play was at Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2000 when his high school AAU team played in a summer tournament. I met his dad Bob Diener and over the years saw that both Bob and Vicki Diener followed Travis around to every AAU game, all his Marquette home games and many Marquette road games. Travis said that having someone to count on every game like his parents meant a lot and it gave him a ton of confidence.
Here is my interview with Travis Diener.