The Tie That Binds

One is an unassuming, 6-foot-2 junior point guard who chooses to strike from afar. The other is a 6-foot-8, senior forward whose flashy, aerial deeds make the highlight reels. One comes from a Methodist background; the other Catholic. One was raised in a well-to-do family where life’s big challenge was growing up between two sisters. The other’s parents worked hard to steer him away from the dangerous, sometimes fatal, lawlessness that plagued his extended family.

There are plenty of differences between Trent Meacham and Brian Randle. But the common denominator — the bond that ties them together like a sturdy knot — goes much deeper than just being good friends and star teammates for the University of Illinois basketball team.