Daniel Trant - Remembering Sept, Trant


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Long Island remembers

Help Long Island remember the victims of 9/11. If you knew Daniel Trant, click the "Submit" button to share a memory, photo(s) or video. (If you aren't a registered newsday. com user, email materials to 911@newsday. com .)

About Daniel Trant

This profile was originally published in 2001/2002

Dan Trant was an All-American basketball player in college and was drafted by the Boston Celtics. But rivaling his finest moments as a player are the times he spent in elementary school gymnasiums teaching grade-school boys basketball, or on nondescript Long Island fields teaching teenage girls This profile was originally published in 2001/2002

Dan Trant was an All-American basketball player in college and was drafted by the Boston Celtics. But rivaling his finest moments as a player are the times he spent in elementary school gymnasiums teaching grade-school boys basketball, or on nondescript Long Island fields teaching teenage girls soccer.

At a memorial service for Trant, lost in the World Trade Center attacks, boys in uniforms from the teams that Trant, 40, had recently been coaching -- and former teammates from the Clark University team that played in the 1984 Division III finals -- sat among the thousands in attendance.

Some of the boys were around 10 years old, like Trant's son, Alex. This group included a boy whose mother said that Trant two winters ago showed her son the best basketball season of his life. Trant kept pushy parents out of the way of the children having fun, she said, and always made sure her son scored at least one basket each game.

Some of the boys were about 12 years old, like Trant's son, Daniel. Among them was a boy from the travel basketball team that Trant coached whose parents credited Trant with inspiring their son to take school seriously.

Not in uniform, but equally dedicated to their old coach, was a group of college-age girls, friends and teammates of Trant's daughter, Jessica, 19, who now plays soccer at Pace University. Trant coached Jessica since she was 5, and in the process earned the respect and admiration of many girls, including one who remembered in a recent letter that Trant "brought out the best in me," and made her "want to play soccer."

It was Trant's confidence and cool manner, his wife, Kathy, said, that made him such an effective and well-liked coach. It was this commanding yet unassuming way that made adults like him just as much.

"Danny knew how to handle every person, every situation in life," said Kathy Trant, his wife of 14 years. "He had this presence that you could never explain."

Trant, a bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald, was in his office on the 104th floor of Tower One on Sept. 11. After the plane hit below him that morning, he called his wife to tell her he loved her and to take care of their kids. Then he said he had to go because his office was filling with smoke.

Trant went to high school in Westfield, Mass. and was a two-time All-American basketball player at Clark, in Worcester. He is a bit of a legend there, where he scored 1,663 points, third highest in school history, before being picked by the Celtics in the fourth round of the 1984 NBA draft. While Trant was a great shooter, at 6-foot-2 he didn't have enough size for the team and was cut before the season, his wife said.

He played pro basketball in Ireland after college, then returned to Massachusetts where he worked as a witness advocate in the Hampden County prosecutor's office from 1986 to 1991. He met his future wife in 1987, married her three months later, and the couple moved to Long Island in 1991. He adopted her daughter, Jessica, as his own.

In 1996, Trant wanted to move his family from Stony Brook to be closer to his job in Greenwich, Conn. They picked Northport because Jessica knew friends from a select soccer team who lived there. He later went to work for Cantor Fitzgerald.

On Dec. 23, in honor of her father, Jessica will carry the Olympic torch through Manhattan as part of its 13,500-mile journey from Atlanta to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Oympics.

In recent years, Trant got up at 4:15 every morning for work, but that didn't stop him from spending every night and weekend day coaching. He led so many teams that Kathy Trant couldn't keep track of them all. There was the Long Island Lightning, a travel basketball team out of Hempstead, and the Northport Bandits, his daughter's old junior soccer team. He even helped found the St. Philip Neri Catholic Youth Organization travel basketball program at the church.

"My husband should have probably been a college coach. He had a basketball mind that you would not believe," Kathy Trant said. "But he had this way with the kids. They would look at him and not say a word, they just listened and learned. Every child wanted to play for him. He never had to raise his voice, he just had this ability to gain respect."

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