Moments of glory series: Trevor Winter's NBA job? Hack-a-Shaq

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 4, 2012 - 5:54 AM

Trevor Winter only played five minutes in the NBA, but the former Slayton, Minn., and Gophers center got to battle against 15-time All-Star Shaquille O'Neal.

Trevor Winter was more known for his Gophers career, but he also had a memorable cup of coffee with the Timberwolves.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The most enduring athletes in Minnesota history are well-known. Names like Puckett, Killebrew and Tarkenton bring about images of long-term success. But what about those with local ties who only had a chance meeting with the big time? Here we remember their one victory, their one appearance -- their one moment. Today: Trevor Winter's NBA experience.

For a man who loves to hear himself talk, Shaquille O'Neal didn't say much to Trevor Winter during their brief encounter.

"People hear I played in the NBA, and I always get asked who I played against," Winter said. "My answer is always Shaq, because that's pretty much it."

The next question, inevitably, is what kind of guy the 15-time NBA All-Star was.

"Truthfully," Winter said, "you don't get to know a lot about a person in five minutes."

This is not a facetious statement by Winter, who these days is among the world's only 7-foot-tall medical salesmen. On March 16, 1999, the Slayton, Minn., native and former Gopher was activated by the Timberwolves for one reason: Hack Shaq.

During the team's pregame meeting, Winter was told tongue-in-cheek he would be fined a set amount of money for every foul he didn't make on O'Neal.

"They needed my fouls," Winter said. "And I thought what the heck. I was excited to get out there."

Winter checked in midway through the game at Target Center, played 5 minutes and picked up five fouls against the Lakers big man.

"He looks big on TV but even for a 7-foot, 300-pound guy like I was, he made me feel small," Winter said. "A giant of a man."

On the first play of his first NBA action, O'Neal took the ball inside and dunked on Winter. Hard.

"It happened so fast I don't even think [TV] was back from commercial," Winter said. "The pace of the game was fast. Everything was kind of a blur after that."

Winter also collected three rebounds in his debut. Despite having a foul left, he was lifted after five minutes ("They were happy with my showing," he said) and did not return back into that game -- or ever again.

He was deactivated the next day and his career NBA stats always will read five minutes, five fouls.

"It was a great experience, and I owe a lot to coach [Flip] Saunders for believing in me enough to be with the team," said Winter, who made the Wolves roster after coming to camp from the Fargo-Moorhead Beez of the now-defunct International Basketball Association. "I'm not sure if I'd call this an honor or what. It sure is interesting. All I know is I take pride in playing at all three levels of basketball in Minnesota."


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 0
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 2 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0
San Francisco 5 Top 9th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
San Diego 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Los Angeles 0
Pittsburgh 21 FINAL
Philadelphia 31
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington 73 FINAL
Indiana 78
San Antonio 84 FINAL
Minnesota 88
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which football team will have the best record in 2014?

Weekly Question