Friday, February 8, 2013


By Randy Shaver

Great stories come in all shapes, forms and, in this case, sizes.

One would think nothing big ever happens in tiny Esko, Minnesota. But that would be wrong.
At the only four-way stop in town sits the home of the Eskimos, and a tall tale you have to see to believe. 

Her name is Savanna Trapp and at 6-foot-9 she stands out on the basketball court. Savanna's believed to be the tallest girls basketball player ever in Minnesota, and one of the tallest in the country this season.
For 6'9", she has good feet around the basket and the ability to finish. At a recent game against Floodwood, she scored a season-high 30 points. Her teammates did a great of of feeding her the ball. Try as they might, the defense couldn't stop her.
But it's on defense where Savanna may be most intimidating. Imagine driving the lane and seeing Savanna waiting to swat your shot. She said she enjoys blocking shots even more than scoring points.
"Just the look on the opponent's face, 'Did that just happen?' look," she said with a smile.
When you're as tall and as good as Savanna, you attract a lot of attention. She has received dozens and dozens of college recruiting letters. Savanna's first college basketball offer came from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee when she was in 8th grade. And the recruiting letters didn't stop until she signed a college tender with UCLA last November.
From tiny Esko, Minnesota to Los Angeles, it will mean big changes for everybody in the family.
"We don't have cable or satellite TV, and we really want to get PAC-12 network, we can get some of games on internet, stream live, get a bigger TV, too," explained Savanna's mother, Krissy Trapp.
It's not every day you walk the school hallways and see a girl have to duck her head while entering a doorway, but Savanna does.
"Off the court I try not to be intimidating at all, smiling helps with that," she said.
She is a great student and plans to study marine biology at UCLA. She loves to read and she's a people-person, but most of all, she loves basketball.
She admits her conditioning isn't the best. And, she knows that to play at the next level, she has to get stronger. Those are things a red shirt year should fix.
Savanna knows her days on the basketball court won't last forever, but she'll always be 6'9".
"I'm content being just the way I am, it's how I've always been and I love it. There's a bit of an attention factor that's kind of fun, too, sometimes," Savanna said.
There is a self-adopted special club for tall girls like Savanna, and she's adding friends all the time.
"Sometimes on Facebook I'll get different notifications and friend requests from different tall girls from different states and stuff saying, 'Hey we've heard about you, where do you get your clothes?' and we discuss all this fun stuff you know, tall girl stuff," explained Savanna.
For the record, Savanna wears a size 15 men's shoe and has some clothes custom made.
Thanks to extensive travel through AAU basketball, Savanna says she's ready for life outside Minnesota, ready to prove this tall tale isn't just Minnesota myth.
"And it's kind of taught me that adventure is good and I'm ready for a new adventure, you know, I love my small town Esko, but I'm ready for the next step in my life," she added.
By the way, tall runs in the family. Savanna's Dad is 6-foot-9, her mom is 6-foot-4. Savanna's little sister is a sophomore who stands 6'5", and her 7th grade brother is now 6-foot-6 and is projected to reach 7 feet by the time he's done growing.

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