Family Defines NKU's Trevon Faulkner
Story provided by Northern Kentucky University Athletics
Family. In its simplest of definitions, a family is a group consisting of parents and children, sometimes also including grandparents or other close relatives. What’s missing from that overly-simplified definition is the importance of the bonds and support that develop between members of a family. For Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball player Trevon Faulkner, the bonds that bind his family matter most and define the young man he has grown into.
By his own admission, Trevon’s family went through some hard times as he was growing up. His parents split during his younger years, which was trying for him. Like all kids, he wanted them together. He had to grapple with the hardship that comes from dividing time between his mother and his father, even though he knew at a young age that his parents separating was the right decision for them and the family.
Lanal Faulkner, Trevon’s mother, often had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, which also made it difficult to spend time with her. The sacrifices Lanal made for her family and the example she set for her children are not lost on Trevon, as he very simply notes about his mother, “she is a hard-working woman.”
To further complicate matters, while in high school, his father Sidney Alcorn came down with pneumonia. That was particularly trying for Trevon, who shares that his father is someone whom he greatly admires because he “inspires me to be great.
Trevon’s parents and five siblings, especially his older brother Marcus and older sister Destiny, were always there in all the right ways, underscoring the important roles they have played in his life.
“Growing up, my family was always there to push me to be something special,” said Trevon. “My parents constantly found a way to put me in a position to be great and always have the ability to play sports. My siblings [Marcus and Destiny] went through some of the same adversities I did. I could see how they matured and carried themselves.”
Trevon’s family constantly challenged him to grow in everything he did and to stay on the right track. They imparted knowledge, provided experiences and modeled what Trevon needed in order to develop into a successful person. At a young age, Sidney instilled church and God in his life. Despite working multiple jobs, Lanal ensured there was food on the table, clothes on his back and shelter over his head. Both Sidney and Lanal provided Trevon opportunities to play basketball. Marcus and Destiny were encouraging and served as a good source of advice in Trevon’s life.
Sidney and Trevon also shared a bond through basketball, one forged during Trevon’s youth listening to his father’s stories from his days roaming the hardwood. After introducing the younger Faulkner to the game, Sidney then challenged Trevon to be his best.
The elder Faulkner knew his son was special. Sidney could also tell Trevon was excelling as a youth, but was using his left-hand dominance to his advantage. Most kids weren’t use to guarding a southpaw, so Trevon rarely used his off-hand. Sidney knew Trevon still had to develop his right hand, so he instituted the rule that Trevon’s day was over on the court as soon as he felt his son wasn’t utilizing his right hand, no matter how frustrating and difficult it was for Trevon. It was also Sidney’s way of teaching him to not give up when things get hard.
“That’s something he put in my mind at a young age, no matter how hard things are to keep working, stay motivated and never quit on something that you love,” explained Trevon.
It should come as no surprise then that Trevon took Sidney’s pneumonia diagnosis hard. The bond they shared came through again. Trevon turned toward his roots and prayed for his father’s safety. He also found another way to outwardly show love and support for his father.
As a member of the varsity team since he was in eighth grade, Trevon had always worn the No. 1, but that changed when Sidney came down ill. Trevon swapped his No. 1 for No. 12, the same number Sidney wore during his high school playing days. The same days that Trevon heard all about through his father’s stories. The same stories that forged a bond over basketball and underscore the importance of family and the values they instilled in Trevon’s life.
Sidney overcame pneumonia … but, Trevon still wears No. 12.
Photo: Trevon Faulkner as seen in NKU's Horizon League championship game earlier this month (RCN)