Tallahassee, FL - Trevor McDade never thought he'd be where he is now. He considers himself fortunate to be suiting up for Tallahassee Community College playing basketball.
"People who really know me and knew how I really act," he said, "I'd either be in jail or dead."
McDade grew up Missouri City, Texas with his father and older brother. He was often in trouble and it only worsened. He moved to Bowie, Maryland to live with his mom as a sophomore in high school, but that didn't prevent him from walking the streets.
"I used to walk the streets a lot because I used to get put out a lot," he said. "So I would just walk until I could figure out where I could go. When you don't have stuff, you look for it in different places and I went down all the wrong roads trying to look for it. There's a park I used to sleep at. I used to wear the same clothes to school sometimes."
Despite his personal struggles, his performance on the court was good enough to earn a scholarship to Bowie State. However, he had poor grades and his attitude didn't cut it.
"I had to find a different way out," McDade said. "So I joined the Marine Corps. And I really needed discipline, so I needed the Marine Corps. I didn't want any other branches."
He was 18 years old when he joined. After three years, he earned the rank Lance Corporal. But while he carried out his military work, he joined another team, the Fort Meade Patriots.
"It was never 'Oh, I see myself going to the NBA. Oh, yeah, I see myself going to school for basketball,'" he said. "I scored 52 points in this one game and they were like 'Yeah, you need to go to school. You need to do something else better with your life.'"
The 6'2," 188 pound guard was averaging double figures every game. Eddie Barnes, the Head Coach at Tallahassee Community College, called McDade after receiving tips from friends.
"He was very honest about who he was," Barnes said. "He didn't hold any punches back. Very honest in telling us what all went on as far as things he created himself for his situation. So that honesty made me feel good about the type of person he is. He is really tough. I've watched him against bigger kids. I mean he gets knocked down and he comes right back at you."
There were still concerns about adapting to another new environment.
"You've got to manage time here," McDade said. "You didn't have to do that in the military. They told you what to do, where you had to be, where you had to go. It's not like that here."
"Through all the things that Trevor's been through, I think It came down to trust, Barnes said. "And I think we've earned his trust and I think that's one reason why he's at TCC."
McDade, 21, is in the Marine Reserves. He can be called to duty at any time. But he'd rather think about his time as an Eagle rather than what might happen down the road.
"I want to be like I did everything I could to get to where I am," he said. "Therefore, whatever happens I'm gonna be good. That's what I expect. So that's what I'm shooting for. I know how to change with change. I've learned that coming up. Everything's going to work out, everything. I know God has a plan for me, so it's bigger than what I see."