Reid Travis is making his only NCAA Tournament appearance count. After 4 starring years at Stanford, he decided to transfer to Kentucky for one final season. The move has worked out, as the 6-foot-8, 238-pounder is starting at center for a 29-6 Wildcats team playing Sunday against Auburn for the Midwest Regional title (2:20 p.m. EST, CBS).
The 5th-year senior has been fighting tooth and nail for a chance to finish his career with a bang in the Final Four. With star Kentucky forward PJ Washington out with a knee injury, Travis notched a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double to help the Wildcats escape Wofford in the second round.
Against No. 3 seed Houston in the Sweet 16 Friday, he did the dirty work in a 62-58 squeaker, grabbing 11 rebounds (4 offensive) and holding the Cougar frontcourt to just 3 combined points.
On the season, he has averaged 11.3 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. That effort may give him a chance to play in his hometown of Minneapolis next weekend in the national semifinal.
Reid Travis Ethnicity & Background
Travis was born in the Twin Cities to his black father Nathaniel and his white mother Jacqueline. The cover photo on his Twitter page shows Nathaniel to the right and his mother standing in front of him.
He attended De La Salle High, which is a Catholic prep school on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis. During his time there, he led the Islanders to their 3rd straight state title as a senior while averaging 26.1 points and 9 rebounds.
This performance led to McDonald’s All-American status, as well as a 4-star ranking per 247 Sports. The site considered him the No. 48 player overall and the No. 2 player in-state (just behind Duke guard Tyus Jones).
Travis chose to attend Stanford over offers from Duke, Gonzaga and Minnesota. After averaging 17.4 and 19.5 points in his last 2 seasons in Palo Alto, he could’ve left for the NBA Draft. He decided to stay and be the last piece for a potential national championship Kentucky squad.
“After he weighed all the options and what other universities had coming back,” Nate Travis said to Kentucky.com, “he felt that he was probably that missing piece that Kentucky needed to get to the championship.”
That quote came from Travis’ senior day in Lexington versus the Florida Gators. Much of his family was in attendance.
Accompanying Travis to center court at Senior Day were his parents, Nate and Jackie, older brother Jonah, younger sister Olivia and his girlfriend whom he met when they were students at Stanford, Jordan Parker.
Jonah Travis was a contributing role player for Harvard from 2011-15. He averaged 4.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in his career, helping head coach Tommy Amaker lead the Crimson to the NCAA Tournament all 4 years he was in Cambridge.
Reid also has a brother Ross who plays tight end for the Indianapolis Colts.The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder is mostly an in-line blocker who has caught just 10 passes for 91 yards in his 3-year career.
As for Sunday’s matchup with Auburn, Reid is looking to replicate his other other meeting with the Tigers from Jan. 19, where he scored 17 points on just 7 shots in a 2-point road win.