COLLEGE PARK — In the hours after Trevor Anzmann officially joined the Maryland men's basketball team as a walk-on, the 2011 Westminster High School graduate took the court for the first time as a college basketball player, received playing time during Maryland's Nov. 17 win over Central Connecticut State and pulled down his first college rebound.
But Anzmann's fondest memory of that night is walking into the Terps' locker room hours before game time, making his way to his dressing stall and seeing a Maryland jersey with "Anzmann" across the back hanging in the locker.
"Coolest thing by far," recalled Anzmann, a senior walk-on who was invited to join the team by Maryland coach Mark Turgeon after a series of tryouts. "Still, every time when I walk in and see my jersey hanging, coolest thing ever."
This is the latest chapter in Anzmann's journey at Maryland, one he never expected to include basketball at anything above a club level.
An aerospace engineer major, Anzmann once hoped to work for a defense contractor such as Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin.
"Or if not them, work for NASA, do something like that," he said.
The plans began to change in 2012, during Anzmann's sophomore year.
Anzmann started playing club basketball as a freshman at Maryland. As a sophomore, he took over as president of the club team, which has produced multiple practice players for the Terps' women basketball team.
Last year, two former club players working with the women's basketball team invited Anzmann to a women's basketball practice. One, Sean Ehlbeck, is the current coordinator of recruiting operations for the women's team.
"They said, 'You seem like a pretty smart guy, a pretty good player. You should come check it out and see what you think and see if the coaches like you,'" Anzmann recalled. "And I went and did it one day, and I absolutely loved it."
Anzmann took over as a practice player shortly thereafter, helping the team finish 28-7 and advance to the Final Four.
His responsibilities were similar to what they are with the men's team now.
"You try to replicate what the opponent is going to be in a game skill-wise," Maryland women's associate head coach Tina Langley said. "So if we were about to play a team last year, he would try to replicate the skills that that player had. And because he was so focused on helping our team prepare, he did a great job."
Anzmann helped Maryland prepare for players such as former North Carolina star Diamond DeShields, who he said was fun to mimic because "she is super athletic, is tall, is big and plays like a guy."
"It was a super-easy scout," Anzmann said. "And it was basically, if you get the ball try to score."
Anzmann thought he would help with the women's team again this season until the Maryland men's staff decided to hold open tryouts for a walk-on spot in the weeks leading up to the season.
Anzmann was one of around 10 participants who were qualified enough to come out and were able to get the necessary paperwork and medical tests done in the eight days between the announcement of the tryout and the audition.
The first tryout consisted primarily of drill work, an hour of Terps assistant coaches Bino Ranson and Dustin Clark using cone drills to test the players' ball-handling, zig-zag drills to gauge movement skills on defense and other tasks to be able to assess the participants' ability to shoot, absorb information and communicate.
"And the one thing that stuck out about Trevor more than anything was his ability to communicate and — while he was communicating — showing his understanding of the game of basketball," Maryland men's director of basketball operations Nima Omidvar said.
Anzmann was one of four candidates invited back for a second workout, a session that concluded with coaches telling the participants, "We'll be in touch."
"A few days went by. And in my head, I'm like I'm so nervous right now," Anzmann said. "I don't know how this is going to go for me. I just want to hear back so that I have a definite answer and so I know one way or the other."
Anzmann eventually was asked to participate in a pick-up game for coaches to further evaluate his game. The final stage of the tryout was then Anzmann going to two Maryland men's basketball practices and working with the team.
After the second practice, Turgeon called Anzmann into the Terps' film room and told him, "I'd like to congratulate you. You've made the team. You're doing the things that we want you to do, so keep it up."
"I was so happy that I didn't even know what to say to him," Anzmann said. "I was just like, 'Thank you, Coach. I appreciate it.' I was at a loss for words."
So were some of Anzmann's former Westminster teammates when they learned he was on Maryland's team.
Anzmann lacks the background and measurables of a traditional Division I college basketball player. He is 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, and was never even an all-county selection in high school.
That is why former Westminster teammate Drew Dorsey was so surprised when his roommate, who was watching the Terps' game against Central Connecticut State, pointed to the television in their room and told Dorsey that Anzmann was in the game for Maryland. Going into Saturday's game against South Carolina Upstate, that has been Anzmann's only game action. He snagged a rebound and committed a turnover in three minutes.
Anzmann's new Terps teammates recognize his value.
"He's done all the little things for us in practice, just going hard every day, helping us out before the game, whether it's passing or rebounding," Maryland junior Jake Layman said. "He just does all those little things for us. He's been a great addition."
Just as he did for the women's team, the Carroll native has been responsible for imitating opposing players. One such player was Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon, a standout guard who scored 18 points in a 76-65 win over the Terps on Dec. 3. Anzmann watched film of Brogdon, diagnosed the Virginia guard's tendencies and attempted to mimic Brogdon in practice as the Terps prepared for the Cavaliers.
"He enjoys driving and wants to get to the rim as much as he can, so any chance I got coming off a ball screen — if whoever was guarding me in practice came up too far and I could sweep-drive baseline — that was one of the things that we noticed that he liked to do," Anzmann said. "Really just anything off the dribble. So if he took a jump shot, it was more likely to be off the dribble than off the catch."
Anzmann, who now aspires to be a coach, had to drop a class this semester in order to be able to play. That means he will not graduate until 2016 and will be at Maryland for at least one more year.
His hope is to play again next season. If he can't, he plans to pursue to an internship with either the men's team or women's team while also doing scout team work for the women.
"I'm just going to try to hang around these programs as much as I can," Anzmann said, "and we'll see if maybe by dumb luck again I can end up in coaching."
Reach staff writer Matt Zenitz at 410-857-7896 or email@example.com.