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Imagine a family’s joy when their son is drafted by the NBA. Well, the family of Trevion Hendrix greeted the news that their son had been drafted into the NBA2K League with a little bit of trepidation.

Three years later, playing under his game handle of All Hail Trey, Hendrix is one of the stars of the NBA’s official video game league.

Playing for Cavs Legion GC, Hendrix, from Hot Springs, Ark., is averaging 16.8 points per game. His NBA2K persona is as a 6-foot-9 power forward known for draining threes. All Hail Trey has built a reputation as one of the best mid-range shooters in the league. He’s also earned cred as one of the strongest communicators in the NBA2K League. All Hail Trey is widely known for rarely losing his cool.

Trevion Hendrix, a.k.a. All Hail Trey of Cavs Gaming GC. Photo by: NBA2K screenshot.

Needle In A Haystack

Naysayers may scoff at someone playing a video game for a living but let’s just safely say that they don’t know what they don’t know. Earning a spot on the Cavs Legion GC roster in the NBA2K League is every bit as difficult as landing a roster place with the actual Cleveland Cavaliers.

In fact, apologies to Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, and Darius Garland but in reality, it might be tougher to gain the nod with Cavs Legion GC.

For starters, there are just six roster spots on each NBA2K squad. That’s less than half the number that is suiting up for a real NBA team.

In 2018, the inaugural season of the NBA2K League, there were just seven teams. From hundreds of thousands of applicants, these seven teams drafted six players each, and Hendrix, 24, made the cut to become an original NBA2K player.

Hendrix was a fourth-round pick of Raptors Uprising GC during that inaugural 2018 season. In his game persona as All Hail Trey, he proved to be a valuable and versatile asset to the team.

All Hail Trey delivered results as both a shooting guard and small forward before eventually settling into the power forward role. He helped lead Raptors Uprising GC to an 8-6 record and a playoff berth. The Arkansas native averaged 14.4 points per game with his sharpshooting while making a name for himself as one of the premier defenders in the league.

He was acquired by Cavs Gaming GC in a 2019 trade and has been a protected player of the team for the past two seasons.

Working It

Just like an NBA player who starts out as a gym rat and devotes a lifetime of sweat and toil to perfect their craft, it’s required years and years of commitment to turn Hendrix into All Hail Trey.

Hendrix first began playing the NBA2K game in 2004 but it wasn’t until 2015 that he mastered his game to the point where he was capable of competing in professional tournaments. He estimates that it took hours, sometimes as much as 10 to 12 hours a day, to perfect his skills.

At times, his mother admits she wondered whether her son wasn’t just wasting his time at the controls of his favorite video game.

I would always ask him, ‘What do you want to do?” Latoya Portlock told ABC affiliate KATV. “You know, you work. You know you work at a job and you’re just playing the video game. What do you want to do with your life? And he was just . . . he really didn’t give me a definite answer.

“So I did have concerns.”

Hendrix was working as a busboy at Colton’s Steakhouse and Grill restaurant in his hometown when he cracked an NBA2K roster for the first time. NBA2K players earn in excess of $30,000 as a base salary for a six-month season and get free room and board from their teams.

NBA2K League Growing Rapidly

From its modest seven-game inaugural campaign to a 23-team loop with one squad in China, the NBA2K League has exploded into prominence in three short seasons.

The 13-week regular season began in early May. Teams are competing for more than $1.4 million in prize money during the 2020 campaign.

In some U.S. states where sports betting is legal such as Arkansas, there are even online sportsbooks that offer wagering on NBA2K games.