High school teammates reunite in Flagstaff
Three years ago Lumberjack sophomores, Amanda Frost and Trinidee Trice, teamed up together on the girls’ basketball team at John W. North High School in Riverside, Calif. Frost, in her senior year, was wrapping up her high school career and Trice, in her junior year, was finishing a two year stint at JW North.
“I would say we are pretty good together,” Frost said about their high school days. “We had fun, we were a good team.”
Reunited as Lumberjacks this fall, Frost and Trice took distinctly different paths to wind up in Flagstaff.
Trice entered her second year at NAU, having played in all 29 games last year, including 11 starts. She averaged 16 minutes a game, scoring 5.2 points and grabbing 3.1 rebounds on average in her freshman year alone. Trice’s path to Flagstaff began after her junior year, when she transferred to Bishop Alemany in Mission Hill, Calif. for her senior year of high school.
Trice’s movement during high school can be attributed to her mother, Bethel Trice. Bethel was the coach at JW North during her daughter’s sophomore year and Frost’s junior year.
She also coached Trinidee at Norte Vista High School in Riverside before they both moved over to JW North a year later.
“She was coaching at another school so I went to that one,” Trice said. “Just following her around everywhere, pretty much.”
Despite all the movement, Trice said she enjoyed her time playing for her mother.
“Only looking out for our best interest,” she said in regards to parents potentially pushing their children harder when coaching them.
Frost, on the other hand, is a newcomer to the Lumberjacks squad. She originally committed to Hampton University in Hampton, Va. for the 2009-10 season, but left after one semester due to issues with her scholarship. Frost then transferred to Fullerton College Hornets that spring, but elected to hold off playing.
“I thought that it would just be a waste of a year,” Frost said. “There were only a couple more games left, so I just ended up practicing with them and then the next year I actually played for Fullerton.”
In her one year of play at Fullerton, Frost averaged 18 points and three steals a game for the Hornets and was named to the All-Orange Empire first team and the All-California Community College Athletic Association first team in what was her freshman year of college basketball.
Following her successful freshman year, Frost began searching for a spot on a Division 1 roster. But her Fullerton coaches had other plans.
“I planned to play one year at Fullerton and then planned to transfer,” Frost said. “But my Fullerton coach wanted me to stay there. I even told my coach when I went there my first year I just wanted to be here one year; one and done.”
With some of the coaching staff unwilling to lose Frost after only one year, she was forced to do some work of her own.
“I had to get myself to a school, because my coaches weren’t really trying to help me,” Frost said. “They wanted me to stay.”
That’s where her friendship with Trice came into play. Without her, chances are Frost, who was also considering Delaware State prior to her commitment to NAU, wouldn’t have wound up a Lumberjack.
Trice was primarily recruited off of her American Athletic Union (AAU) team, West Coast Premier, during her senior year after Frost had already moved on.
“When I recruited Trinidee, I didn’t know who Amanda was,” said head coach Laurie Kelly. “We were looking for a player late last year and Trinidee says ‘I have a friend that would like to leave JC (Junior College),’ that was a qualifier. So we contacted her and we got film on her.”
“Our recruitment with Amanda really did start through Trinidee.”
Trice said she encouraged Frost to consider NAU for the next step of her basketball career.
“It was basically out of Delaware St. and NAU,” Frost said. “Me and Trinidee were really super close and then at the same time I thought, ‘this is right here, right around the corner from home, it’s not too far.’”
In addition to the proximity to her home, Frost liked the idea of having a familiar face on campus.
“I mean one of my best friends is going here so why not,” she added.
Frost’s NCAA career began when the Lumberjacks traveled to the University of Colorado in early November. Frost scored 18 points and snatched three steals while hitting 5-of-11 from three in the loss to the Buffalos.
For the season so far, Trice is averaging six points and four rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game. Frost, in her first season of Division 1 basketball, is averaging 8.4 points and 1.4 steals in 19.7 minutes a game.
Before arriving in Flagstaff for their first season together as Lumberjacks, the pair played together for Kids WORLDWYD/PHB, a collegiate summer league team from Chino Hills, Calif. They went on to win the 2011 Nike Say No Classic Women’s College Summer League title in August.
“It’s UCLA players, USC players, pretty much all the top schools around there in Los Angeles,” Frost said of the league’s level of competition.
And the opportunity to challenge themselves against the league’s premier talent wouldn’t go to waste.
“We actually played against the USC women’s basketball team and beat them for the championship,” Trice said.
That extra time together during the summer helped the two get used to playing together again after the three years apart and helped prepare them for the Lumberjacks’ season.
“Amanda, she hit some big threes. You know that’s what she does and that’s what she did in the championship game to help us pull that off,” Trice said. “I guess it was really preparation for just coming here and wanting to do the same thing.”
As for Frost, she is confident that the time together gives her a better understanding than others on Trice’s style of play.
“I usually know what she is going to do. If she is going to pull up or I know when she is going to shoot or pass,” said Frost. “I am pretty positive that I know what she is going to do when she is going to do it.”
“I think playing that long together, that’s what made me realize everything.”
While Frost feels confident with the rapport she has on the court with Trice, their relationship stretches beyond the game as well.
“You definitely can see their goofiness and the fact that they get along really well,”Kelly said. “When there is giggling and things going on, the two of them are usually together.”