Why Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein changed his middle name to "Trill"
The secret's out.
Kings No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein took to the Players' Tribune this week to explain exactly why he recently changed his middle name to "Trill."
For most of high school, the former Kentucky center and Kansas native was known as Willie Cauley. By the time he arrived at Kentucky, he'd added Stein, his mother's last name, with a hyphen. Cauley-Stein says the technical decision came when filing to make that name change official – apparently on somewhat of a whim. "Trill," a slang term that combines "true" and "real," fit his personal ethos, and the rest is history.
Apparently during the interview process leading up to the draft, fans weren't the only ones wondering about the change.
"A lot of NBA GMs have asked me about me why I changed my middle name to Trill," Cauley-Stein wrote, via the Players' Tribune. "Actually, the reason why I filed the paperwork to change my name was so that I could officially add my mother’s last name, Stein, to my own. My mom is my best friend, and I wanted to honor her. When I saw that I could change my middle name on the form, I added “Trill” because I never liked “Durmond.” Trill is a combination of true and real. It’s my philosophy."
- Jeremy Woo