Friday, 03 July 2020 14:04

Gaining Exposure: Stroman joins Flight 22 to bolster college resume

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ROCKINGHAM — Trying to learn about and build chemistry with new teammates through social distancing can be difficult, but Nygie Stroman has found a way to do just that.

A rising senior basketball player at Richmond Senior High School, Stroman was set to spend his spring and summer on the court with Flight 22, one of the longest tenured grassroots showcase teams based in the state. But the coronavirus pandemic forced him and the U17 squad to participate in limited practices and interactions.

But now as some travel sports programs across the state get back into action, Stroman and Flight 22, which is based in Wilmington, will be doing the same next week in Myrtle Beach. 

Coached by Nate Faulk, Stroman and company will compete in a four-day tournament from July 9 through July 12.

Stroman explained that shortly after his junior season with the Raiders ended in February, Richmond head coach Donald Pettigrew was approached by Faulk about having Stroman join the travel team.

The 6-6 power forward told Pettigrew he “would definitely be interested,” and from there, a new relationship was formed. Also on his team are fellow Sandhills Athletic Conference players Bradlee Haskell (Pinecrest High School) and Charlie Miller (Lumberton High School).

“I thought we’d never come back because of the whole pandemic,” Stroman laughed. “It felt like I was missing a whole part of my life by not playing basketball, so I’m super excited to be back.

“My job is to score and rebound, and Coach Faulk is playing me in every position,” he added. “It’s pretty cool to have Bradlee and Charlie on the team, especially once I got the chip off my shoulder that they’re my opponents in high school. They’re both great players who can contribute.”

As a junior at Richmond, Stroman played his second varsity season and began collecting interest from college coaches around the state. He led the Raiders in scoring with 14.8 points per game and was named to his second-straight All-SAC roster.

Not only can the big man post up down low, but using his outside shot, Stroman helped the Raiders to their second consecutive playoff appearance, making it to the second round. He scored 20 or more points five times, including a career-high 29 points against Independence High School in the final game of the season.

Now he’s looking to take what he’s learned under Pettigrew the last three years and apply it to his Flight 22 teammates. Stroman also sees playing for the showcase team as a way to gain exposure from college coaches and expand his playing potential at the next level.

“Playing for Flight 22 is going to help me because I get to play higher-level competition and it’s going to give me some more exposure,” Stroman explained. “That’ll help with my recruiting process and I can bring what I learn back to high school and get ready for college.”

Currently, Stroman has garnered interest from East Carolina University, UNC-Pembroke and UNC-Wilmington. Most recently, Campbell University was added to the list of schools watching Stroman on the court.

The Flight 22 team practiced regularly in the early parts of the spring season until a statewide ban on sports was put into place. Now the team gets together for a practice roughly once a week, and had two practices this week.

To prepare for the upcoming Myrtle Beach showcase tournament, which will be stacked with college coaches and recruiters but a limited crowd capacity, Stroman and his teammates will also practice the day before the opening game. 

“I think we’re a pretty talented team,” Stroman said. “It’s been hard to try and connect with the guys because of social distancing, but we all got into a group chat and have been learning about each other that way.”

While many see the COVID-19 crisis as a roadblock, Stroman has taken a different spin on it to try and make it more positive. He’s been working out on his own time and getting to the court on a regular basis to fine-tune his skills.

“I was taught that I always have to try my hardest, especially when things don’t always go as planned,” Stroman said. “During all of this I’ve tried to stay focused, and I tell myself if I’m supposed to do something, I have to hold myself accountable.
“The work I’m putting in now will show when the pandemic is over,” he closed. “This process has taught me a lot about self-discipline.”

ROSports will run a feature on Stroman and Flight 22 following the Myrtle Beach tournament.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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