By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Trivante Bloodman took a gamble out of high school and it’s one that has paid off immensely.
The Bronx, N.Y., native had scholarships to Hofstra, Texas Southern and a few Division II offers but opted for Olney (Ill.) Central College to try and improve his options.
The fall semester passed and Bloodman had yet to hear from any other programs. But after earning Great River Athletic Conference and Region 24 Freshman of the Year honors in the spring, Texas Tech came calling.
So did Seton Hall, Florida Atlantic and a few others offering scholarships. Mississippi State, a program that recently underwent a coaching change bringing in a rookie head coach in Rick Ray, was the last school from that list to contact him.
“Mississippi State was my fourth visit and once I came here, everything was just perfect,” Bloodman said. “Coach Ray and the players that were here all treated me great. I just felt like I had to come here. I think it was a great decision.”
The six-foot, 182-pounder made an immediate impact as a sophomore for the Bulldogs. Bloodman started all 32 games at point guard for MSU last season averaging 6.1 points and 2.3 assists. Due to backcourt injuries, he also led the team in minutes played averaging 29.1 a game.
“It was crazy last year,” Bloodman said. “We did a lot of conditioning and they prepared me in practice. We didn’t have many players so I’d have to stay in the whole practice for about three hours so playing 40 minutes in the game really wasn’t that tough.”
With the recovery of Jacoby Davis and signing of I.J. Ready, the Bulldogs now have depth at point guard. Bloodman has made just seven starts this season and is averaging six fewer minutes but has continued to be a vital part in the backcourt scoring six points an outing.
“I think Trivante Bloodman has really improved as a basketball player and has really handled his role well,” Ray said. “It’s hard when you’ve had a guy that’s played over 30 minutes a ball game then comes in and isn’t the starting point guard giving that spot up to a freshman. He isn’t playing as many minutes as he was last season even though he played well. I think he’s handled all that adversity really well.”
Having been born and raised in the largest city in the U.S., Bloodman was in for quite a change when he made the move south to Starkville. But he admits it does have its advantages.
“It’s so much different,” Bloodman said. “In New York City, everything’s fast with big lights. Down here in the South it’s nice because people are nice to you. In New York, everybody’s doing their own thing but down here people treat you like family. They’ll say hi to you when you drive by. It’s been great.”