December 4, 2020

Trimble officially transfers from Webster to CSULA

In his first 10 seasons as coach of the Webster University men’s basketball team, Chris Bunch never had one of his players transfer up a division to play basketball.

But this fall, two of Bunch’s players — point guard Willie Trimble and forward Stefan Whittingham — transferred to NCAA Division-II schools. Trimble transferred to California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), while Whittingham transferred to Lincoln University in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Willie Trimble

Bunch said he hasn’t talked with Trimble since the spring, so he didn’t know if Trimble would be returning to Webster until undergraduate classes began Aug. 20.

Trimble’s grandmother, Kader Thomas, said Trimble earned a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at CSULA. Trimble has one year of athletic eligibility remaining. He played two years of basketball at Riverside Community College (Calif.) before playing his junior season at Webster. Trimble did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment.

Trimble emerged as the Gorloks’ top player during the 2010-2011 season, his first at Webster. That season, he led the Gorloks in scoring (15.2 points per game), assists (4 per game) and steals (2.9 per game).

Trimble helped Webster to a 20-7 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Gorloks won the SLIAC tournament before losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Trimble made the All-Conference first team and was named MVP of the SLIAC tournament.

The following year, Trimble didn’t enroll in classes at Webster until Fall II. He said he skipped Fall I because he was tending to his grandmother — who had undergone surgery and needed assistance — in southern California.

Because he missed Fall I, Trimble was ineligible to play for Webster until the team’s Jan. 4 game, which was the Gorloks’ 10th regular-season contest of the season. Rather than play the second half of the season, Trimble elected to skip the 2011-2012 season altogether.

Trimble said last year he planned on playing the 2012-2013 season for Webster, but that won’t be the case. He’ll be joining a CSULA squad that went 17-10 last year.

“He didn’t play last year, so he would have been eligible if he had returned,” Bunch said. “He could have played. But after last summer and him not coming back until right at the last minute, (Trimble transferring) wasn’t totally unexpected.”

Then-sophomore Hollis Edwards and then-junior Dietrick Sooter logged a majority of the minutes at point guard last year. Edwards averaged 6.2 ppg, while Sooter averaged 9.8 ppg.

“I guess we’ll miss the offensive threat,” Edwards said. “But then again, last year we didn’t have him, but somebody else picked up his spot — Stefan did. We lost Stefan this year, so we might have somebody else pick up Stefan’s spot, and so on. It was a big loss, but we did pretty well last year. I just feel like if we keep working hard and building as more of a team, we’ll make it even further this year.”

Bunch said he expects this year’s team to have a similar look as last year’s team, which finished the season with a 13-13 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the SLIAC.

“I think we’ve pretty much got everybody back but Stefan from last year, so you’ll see guys in similar roles,” Bunch said. “There will always be some new people to take increased roles with the added experience. But other than Stefan, we’ve got very much the same situation as last year.”

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