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Dallas billionaire Kenny Troutt (Greg Wesley Story)


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College basketball letter of intent day, Wednesday, will be emotional for signees, their families, friends and at least one Dallas billionaire.

The billionaire’s name is Kenny Troutt, owner of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and one of 2013’s early favorites, Revolutionary.

Troutt is less known as the sponsor of a Dallas-based basketball organization, the Texas Titans. Remember them?

In August 2006, The News profiled the Titans, who at the time consisted of third- and fifth-grade squads. Troutt had a son on each team.

The kids had three full-time coaches, hired by Troutt. The teams played in tournaments around the country, traveling in chartered planes and staying in nice hotels, with Troutt footing the bill. National reaction to

Troutt’s concept was a mixture of condemnation, acclaim and wonderment.

So what’s become of the kids? The fifth-graders are now high school seniors. Some left the organization, others arrived, but of the eight who competed as Titans last summer, all have committed to play college basketball next fall.

As for 2006’s third-grade team, it, too, is a mixture of original and newer Titans. Its roster is full of highly ranked Class of 2015 recruits.

“I’m a blood relative to two, but I feel like I’m at least an uncle to all of them,” Troutt says. “Man, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Troutt, 65, anticipates signing day with perhaps more excitement as May 4, Kentucky Derby day. At considerable expense, he’s overseen the nurturing and training of Revolutionary — from foal to yearling to winner of his last three starts to, in three weeks, the Churchill Downs starting gate.

Also at considerable expense, he’s closely watched Titans players mature from boys to young men, two of them McDonald’s All-Americans: Julius Randle and Matt Jones.

In the summer of 2006, 11-year-old Randle was 5-11 and weighed 140 pounds. Now he is a 6-9, 245-pound power forward and consensus top-three national recruit who will sign with Kentucky on Wednesday.

“Mr. Troutt and the Titans have helped me become the person and the player I am today,” says Randle, who led Prestonwood Christian to two straight TAPPS 5A state titles. “I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Like several other Titans, Randle was raised in a single-parent home, by his mother, Carolyn Kyles.

“I’m really a fortunate person because a lot of people in AAU you see, they don’t have too many good people around them,” Randle says. “But I’m fortunate to have great people around me. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve been blessed with.”

In 2006, Jones stood 5-4, weighed 124 pounds and was the last fifth-grader the Titans selected from a late-2005, invitation-only tryout at the Valley View Sportsplex. Now he is a multidimensional 6-5 guard who starred at DeSoto and is headed to Duke, having signed during last year’s early signing period.

“I attribute a great deal of Matt’s success to the Titans,” says Jones’ father, Mark. “I think it was a God-created opportunity for not only Matt, but the kids and the families who have been able to be a part of it.

“The beauty of it was it wasn’t just about basketball. It was about doing things the right way, on and off the basketball court.”

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/headlines/20130413-townsend-as-colleges-come-calling-for-texas-titans-stars-dallas-billionaire-kenny-troutt-seeing-years-of-support-pay-off.ece

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I saw Randle when Prestonwood beat Liberty in the TAPPS championship this year. He has a LOT of growing up to do... You guys thought Tony acted like a child sometimes when things didn't go his way? For the near future Julius Randle is a tween stuck in a very big man's body.

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