Trevon Jenifer is a Paralympic bronze medalist from the 2012 London Paralympics. Before focusing on wheelchair basketball in college, he was a successful track athlete in his early years and a top wrestler in high school. He also penned an inspirational autobiography, From the Ground Up at 17 years old. He is a fierce competitor and a major contributor to the U.S. Men’s Wheelchair basketball team having first joined the team in 2009. He has helped bring home the gold medal at the Parapan Am Games in 2015 and 2011 and the silver at the 2014 IWBF World Championships. After his London experience, he has his eyes set on gold in Rio this summer.
Name: Trevon Jenifer
Date of Birth: 9/07/1988
Place of Birth: LaPlata, Md.
Hometown: Huntingtown, Md.
Residence: Edinboro, Pa.
High School: Huntingtown High School, Maryland
College: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Post Graduate: California University of Pennsylvania
Major: Legal Studies with concentration in Homeland Security
Year of graduation or expected year: May 2016
2015 Parapan Am Games, gold medal; 2014 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championships, silver medal; 2012 Paralympics, bronze medal; 2011 Parapan Am Games, gold medal; Two-time Collegiate All-American for Edinboro University of Pennsylvania;2009 IWBF U-23 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, gold medal
Competition Wheelchair: Per4max
Trevon’s parents are Constance Bullock and Eric Brown. He has three brothers, Paul, Marcus and Jamar, and a sister, LaTarsha. His partner is Laura Klass.
He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, spending time with family and friends.
Q&A with Trevon:
NWBA: Who is your hero and why?
Trevon: Lavar Arrington and Sean Taylor are my heroes. They are great athletes on the football field and leaders in the locker room. Combined with the passion and intensity in which they played the game, it is awesome to watch them play.
NWBA: When did you start playing wheelchair basketball?
Trevon: I played from 1992-2000 with Air Capital out of Washington D.C.
NWBA: How do you feel having made the cut after the Selection camp in January?
Trevon: It was a little exciting for a split second but now there is work that needs to be done to make it to the final cut. I got the bronze medal in London and that was my first Paralympics and I was able to cherish it with so many great individuals but bronze wasn't our goal. It keeps you thirsty and motivated.
NWBA: What does it mean to be a Paralympian?
Trevon: It means everything. You represent your family, your country. It is something you strive for in your lifetime. You can’t take it for granted. Our Executive Director, Jim Scherr, said it’s the best calling after the military and I agree.
NWBA: What is your support system like?
Trevon: My family members have supported me through times when it has been difficult. There are certain holidays and events like weddings that I miss due to training and travel. They understand the time and effort I have to put in on the court and not being able to spend as much time as I’d like with them. I represent them with pride. My partner, Laura has made a lot of sacrifices with time, effort and finances to help make me a better player. She is my second biggest critic. She drives me to be that much better. Training by yourself is a really difficult thing. She is my rebounder. She might be a critic but it’s also out of love. She played Division II soccer in college so she understands the commitment and determination.
NWBA: Do you play any other sports? Did you receive any awards from other sports?
Trevon: I participated in track with Air Capital in 1992-2000 and wrestled my junior and senior year in high school.
NWBA: What is your profession?
Trevon: I am currently a full-time Graduate Student. I have always wanted to join the armed forces but due to my disability I wasn't able to. The closest thing to it for me is law enforcement. I am working towards my Masters of Science in Legal Studies.
NWBA: Do you or did you ever play on an overseas wheelchair basketball team?
Trevon: I played overseas from 2013-2015 with Le Cannet in France.
NWBA: Can you talk more about the “brotherhood” with your Team USA teammates?
Trevon: We used to play against each other - we are all part of the same college era, Steve Serio, Brian Bell, and Matt Scott. We were rivals. You wanted to beat the other team. But when you have the Team USA letters on that puts things into perspective. It is more than basketball. You are playing for the other guy next to you.
NWBA: What, if any, are your volunteer activities (coaching etc.) ?:
Trevon: I am the Assistant Coach with the Edinboro University Wheelchair Basketball Team
NWBA: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
Trevon: Not normally. I just listen to music and get focused.
NWBA: What is your favorite basketball moment?
Trevon: Playing in the Paralympics and winning a Bronze was my favorite moment but it makes you hungry for the gold.
NWBA: Do you follow any sports? If so, which are your favorite teams?
Trevon: I don’t follow a lot of sports. I love watching March Madness. My favorite teams are the Washington Redskins, Washington Wizards, pretty much anyone from my hometown.
NWBA: What are your long term goals?
Trevon: Working within the Federal Government and ultimately becoming a lawyer down the road.
NWBA: Do you have any social media accounts that fans can follow you on? If so, please include handles.
Trevon: Facebook: Trey Jenifer Instagram: Trey Jenifer Twitter: @Trevon_Jenifer
Cover photo credit: Kim MacMillan, MacMillan Photography