In this #ThrowBackThursday we take you back to the finals of the 1988-’89 season in which the old Royal Castors Braine faced Racing Maes Pils Mechelen, and more specifically the third game of that best-of-five series.
In game 3 it was Castors Braine hosting Racing Mechelen with the series tied 1-1. After a huge loss in Mechelen in Game 2, Braine was fired up to get the advantage back in their own Gaston Reiff gym. Not in the least because it was already their 3rd consecutive Finals’ series after also reaching it in the 1986-’87 and 1987-’88 seasons but had come up short each time. Still, pretty impressive for a team that only joined the Belgian First Division in 1986. In their first season in First Division they lost the Finals against Mechelen (3-1) and then the following season they went down against Oostende (3-1). So… clearly Braine was poised to get some payback this time around. Third time’s a charm they say, and one man in particular did everything he could to make that true: Swingman Kerry Trotter.
Trotter had been with the club since their inaugural season in First Division and was their undisputed star-player. In his first 3 seasons at Braine he had averaged around 27 ppg each season along with a very healthy dose of rebounds, assists and steals. He was especially feeling it in that third game of the 1988-’89 Finals’ series, playing pretty much the entire game and eventually finishing with 41 points that evening. Unfortunately it didn’t come in a win though, thanks to a buzzer-beating three by none other than Bill Varner (who we’ve discussed before in our #TBT series) for the 77-80 Final Score. And so, despite Trotter’s best efforts Braine again came up short as Mechelen would eventually go on to lift up the title, winning the series 3-2.
Trotter ended up staying at Braine for a total of 11 seasons and with them reached the Finals five times… but never won it. In the late ’80s he won the Belgian Championship Player of the Year award twice and in 11 seasons he averaged excellent numbers with 23.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.1 apg & 2.4 spg. In our database with the stats going back to the 1979-’80 season, Trotter is the leading scorer with a total of 6054 points in 258 games. He received the Belgian nationality in 1993. His son Justin Redman-Trotter who was born in the summer of 1986 just before Kerry came over to Belgium also roamed the Belgian courts for a little while and played for Bree in Second Division before the team was forced to quit due to financial issues (2009-’10 season).
Currently the Redman-Trotter family is back in the States where daughter Kiara just graduated from Saint Francis and has committed to Cardinal Stritch University (NAIA D2). In her senior season at Saint Francis she averaged 20.3 ppg, so clearly the basketball gene remains strong in the Trotter family.
We salute him with this little video of his 41 point performance in the 3rd game of the 1988-’89 Finals. Enjoy!