At first he said it was only a game but his winning free throw in a 57-56 Elite Eight victory over Creighton clearly meant so much more. Until this year, San Diego State had never even advanced past the Sweet Sixteen of March Madness.
Just over a year ago, Trammell was playing for Seattle University in a 999-seat gym, preceded two seasons earlier by a stint at City College of San Francisco. The 5-foot-10 athlete had no Division I offers out of high school.
“I had nothing to be nervous about,” he said of his final free throws, the first of which he missed. “It’s just a game.”
Then the waterworks began as head coach Brian Dutcher kept an arm around his player. “Man, I’ve been dreaming of this my whole life,” Trammell said.
Trammell scored 12 points in the victory, and it was the 12th one that sealed the deal with just over a second left.
He got there by drawing a foul from Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard, who appeared to grab his jersey on the hip as Trammell drove and released the shot. Some disagreed with the call.
On the final play, officials ruled that the clock expired after a long inbounds pass was tipped out of bounds. That also generated controversy.
But nobody could take away SDSU’s victory and Trammell’s tears.