Photo by Rosenthal
|No. 14 – Huntsville Mayors|
|Species||Grey Koala ( Phascolarctidae )|
March 13, 1990|
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||193 lb (88 kg)|
|School||Black Tundra University|
|FBA draft||2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall|
|Selected by the Texas Lone Stars|
|Pro playing career||2013–present|
|2013-2015||Texas Lone Stars|
|2015-Apr 2018||Plymouth Taproots|
|Apr 2018-2020||Tallahassee Typhoons|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2023 Salary||$11 million|
|(IC) Agent||Jeff Hunter|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Travis Buckner was ranked #14 in the 2013 Draft Candidate Combine.
Travis Andrew Buckner was born March 13, 1990, in Wichita, Kansas, the son of Madeline and Gary Buckner.
Travis’ childhood saw a great affinity for basketball. The joey made the games seem easy, to the point where coaches would be clamoring for him even in games a few grades above his actual level. He was naturally quick; being an arboreal species, he had a formidable jump as well. In high school, Travis’ ability to find holes and drive through with blazing speed to make intense dunks and impossible tip-ins made him a formidable forward and the scourge of his opponents. Though the koala had a problem with hitting long balls and an overall height of 6'5" - an issue for any power forward pushing towards bigger blockers at the post - he was able to get around the blockers with his quickness, and mastered fade layups to throw off blockers.
Despite Travis’ abilities, however, his team didn’t win as many games as people thought they would, simply because others on both teams tended to score low when Travis was playing. Turnovers, lost balls, and injuries tended to be higher when Travis took the court, but few of these were directly caused by him. When asked for a reason, the typical offer by those on losing teams - and sometimes on the winning ones - was blaming Travis as ‘bad luck’, like he was siphoning out their fortune to use as his own.
This was laughed off as silly superstition by by coaches and principals, who only saw Travis as the pointmaker. Except, the effect persisted, well into Travis’ career in college. For the three years he had been stationed at Black Tundra University, his team performed only average, despite his consistent killer scoring performances (82% shot completion rate, mostly due to choice picking of his shot attempts) and constant defense doubles - and even some triples! Few of the games he played in scored over 80 points, despite him bringing in 25-40% of the team's points himself.
At college, people outside the arena started whispering that Travis really WAS a jinx, and that no college or pro ball team would, in their right mind, take responsibility for it. It became his nickname - 'Jinx' - a name he was very angry to have used around him. Travis didn’t believe in luck. He hated the idea that he wasn't in control of his life. He had natural ability he was going to use, and others’ issues with him were their own problems, stupid nicknames notwithstanding. As a result, he became detached from any team outside of court play, spending more time alone and resenting of teammates going out together after the game, and not inviting him along. This isolated him more and more, making him somewhat aloof towards his teammates.
On paper, Travis seems like a golden child. Very skilled close shotmaking, surprisingly quick and a good jump for great post offense and defense. His long range shots leave a lot to be desired, but get him the ball in the paint, and you’re almost guaranteed points. Due to his background of labeled 'jinx' though, he's all business and no social until - and if - that label disappears. He believes in personal responsibility for success and failure, and dislikes anyone who blames their failings on others for whatever reason. His time with the Texas Lone Stars, however, has softened him a bit, especially due to the polar opposite happy-go-lucky attitude of Kinny DeMarcus, and the viper's intent to make the grumpy koala smile a bit more. On the other side, a friendship with the team's resident grouch, Charles Burgh, has helped him soften the polar bear as well. Despite Travis' business-first and self critical attitude, he seems to be handling being the 'moderate' personality quite well.
Travis is the only child of his family, and is one semester away from graduating with a business degree in marketing - a skill which he uses with calculated ability when making himself look appealing to FBA team managers, coaches, and reporters. If he weren't to make his draft, he'd intern with a Fortune 500 company in a heartbeat, and they'd be glad to have him. His mother used to work as a waitress in a truck stop, until a work injury spurred her to quit and go to night school, learning host and hospitality administration. His father is currently on disabled government pay after an aircraft engine fell on his leg during his work as a foreman in the '00s, though currently his son's success have lit a fire under him to get back to some sort of work. Travis has a grand affinity for his mother and her work ethic. Prior to the draft, he considered his father lazy and unwilling to do what is necessary to be productive - so he has taken the opposite direction of being a workaholic on the court. Since the draft, the two have patched up their differences, and now each support the other, with dad proudly standing by his son, who strives to prove that hard work will always beat 'luck' any day.
Selected as the newly made Texas Lone Stars' first pick in the 2013 draft, Travis has played with a cool, professional head up until the end of January, when a slimy reporter outed Travis' medical history to the public, calling him a eunuch in front of the whole world. In a completely atypical response, the koala punched the reporter firmly in the jaw and knocked him out, earning Travis a ten game suspension, and over $500,000 in fines (Half paid as reparation to the newspaper), as well as ineligibility for consideration for 'Rookie of the Year'. But in that time off, he had been attending the Cancer Connections support group of Austin, finding others whose bodies had missing parts due to cancer or emergency surgery. One patient, an 11 year old tern named Arnold, was a big basketball fan, and was exceedingly happy to have an FBA player in his midst. Travis talked at length to the young bird, whose right wing had to be amputated due to bone cancer and replaced with a prosthetic wingarm. Though Travis would have taken back his violent reaction that got him suspended, his time off recalibrated his priorities and he found a new cause in cancer survivors.
In the beginning of 2013, Travis was blessed with the opportunity to perform in the All Star Weekend on the winning West Rookie Team. While he himself did not perform as stunningly as his teammate and close friend, Marcus Knight, he did manage to impress judges enough for him to take the title of 'Dunk Champion' with his marketing-style 'Past, Present and Future' dunk concepts. He even got on the cover of FUMB magazine with the 3 point winner, Nina Lime (Wolf, PLY). Yet despite these accolades and a good presenting for a majority of the season, he was still suffering from a severe case of migraines and depression stemming from his guilt from the attack on the reporter. It was near the end of the season when he found a way to bounce back, and reports of him spending more time in training with Mitchell Redding himself indicated the reason for the return. Whether this will translate into better numbers in his next year is anyone's guess.
Continuing his second year at Texas, Travis continued to work extensively with Mitchell Redding in bettering his game, starting to adopt some of his personality in dealing with other members of the team, and being selected as an alternate team representative for the Furry Basketball Player's Union - an honor he takes quite seriously. He still remains professional, especially where his charity involvement is concerned. Working with the local Cancer Connections and the Austin Children's Hospital, Travis has established himself as the FBA liason for both charity and hospital, working with other non profit groups like 'Wish Granted'.
In December of 2014, Travis arranged for one chemotherapy-treated child, a sea bass named Carl Anders, to fulfill his dream of 'dunking a ball on an FBA court'. When the time came, however, Travis was too short to have Carl clear the rim on his shoulders. He reached out to rookie center Ahti Nereus (Sturgeon, TXS) to assist, but Trent St. Croix (C, SFW) intervened, claiming Travis wouldn't want the PR nightmare if Ahti's slick hands dropped the child. Travis warily agreed, with Trent picking up the child, making his way to the hoop. Along the way, however, Trent continued to verbally bash and insult Travis to the child, not aware that the child had a microphone which transmitted his character assassinations to the entire audience. Trent was so shocked at the revelation, that he himself dropped Carl on the hardwood, prompting a PR nightmare for the polar bear and the Whips. However, the support the FBA gave back to Carl, the charity and the hospital was overwhelming, making the young fan a local celebrity, and bringing much needed attention to the charity's needs. Though Travis was extremely upset at Trent, the child was okay and getting support he and others like him needed, so he refrained from any other action.
In an attempt to bring more light to caregiving groups like Wish Granted, Travis promised $2000 of his own money donated each home game for every dunk that any Texas teammate completed. While some view this as ostentatious, Travis knows this brings in more people to the stadium in the hopes of seeing powerful dunks, and management is quite happy with the arrangement.
With the koala's abilities, and the team led by himself and veteran Mitchell Redding (Rabbit, G), Texas managed to not only make the playoffs, but also clinch the division title for 2015. Unfortunately a first round loss to their rivals, the Dakota Bikers, prevented further advancement, but Travis felt confident in the team's abilities to be able to not only beat the Bikers next year, but to take the championship. Assuming Texas re-signs the koala in from free agency, something his newly hired tough-as-nails agent Jeff Hunter is firmly and aggressively negotiating, much to the GM's dismay.
- ...And a Time to Sew
- A Hero's Unwelcome
- A Real Travis-Ty
- And He's Still Smiling
- Changing of the Guard
- Cold Front
- Home Court Advantage
- Of Sweaters and Sneakers
- One Good Tern
- One on One
- Pay it (Power) Forward
- Personal Foul
- Polar Vortex
- Tapping the Roots
- The Deal
- The Devil Behind His Smile
- The Final Thank You
- The Gamut
- What happened and Why
2013 - 2014 Regular Season Stats
2014 - 2015 Regular Season Stats
2015 - 2016 Regular Season Stats
2016 - 2017 Regular Season Stats