Wednesday, 05 August 2020 07:18

Stroman finds groove with Flight 22, focused on enjoying basketball

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Rising Richmond senior Nygie Stroman talks about his success this summer with Flight 22. Rising Richmond senior Nygie Stroman talks about his success this summer with Flight 22. Contributed photo.

ROCKINGHAM — Ahead of the curve of many of his fellow Richmond Senior High School student-athletes, Nygie Stroman is beginning to find his grove this summer.

Stroman, a 6-foot, 6-inch rising senior, has been playing for Flight 22’s 17U travel basketball team since the beginning of July, despite the coronavirus pandemic. During that span, the Raiders’ strong forward has continued to impress all over the floor.

Flight 22, coached by Nathan Faulk, has played in several tournaments in the last month. Stroman and his teammates have played multi-day showcase events in Myrtle Beach and Rock Hill, most recently in Charleston.

The tournaments are hosted by Big Shots, an exposure and recruiting program. In the most recent power rankings released by Big Shots, Stroman and the Flight 22 squad were ranked No. 6 in a field of 20 teams.

Stroman has been a big part of that, contributing on both ends of the floor, and helped Flight 22 go 4-0 and win the Charleston event last weekend.

“It’s pretty fun, but I’m just glad to be playing,” Stroman said. “It took us some time to figure things out as a team because we didn’t have a lot of practice, but now that we’re on the court, we’re getting it together.

“I think we’ve really gotten better these last two tournaments,” he added. “We’re locking in on defense, which is our main focus. The big thing is not turning the ball over. Now we are making the extra pass and it’s really showing on the scoreboard.”

Leading up to Flight 22’s 75-68 championship win over Big Shots Elite Tri-Cities in Charleston, Stroman scored 11 points against Big Shots Elite West Virginia in an 80-64 semifinal round win. In the game prior, Stroman knocked down 14 points against the eventual runner-up team.

“I’m all over the floor and I’m trying to show my versatility,” Stroman explained. “There are certain plays when I’m on the outside or there are times I play down low inside. It’s kind of up to us where we want to be on the floor, but I’m just out there to play basketball.”

Joining Stroman on the floor are fellow rising senior Sandhills Athletic Conference players Bradlee Haskell (Pinecrest High School) and Charlie Miller (Lumberton High School). Haskell was named the championship game’s Most Valuable Player in Charleston, while Miller drained 25 points in the title game against Big Shots Elite Tri-Cities.

Although the trio of Flight 22 players all wear opposing uniforms during the season, Stroman noted that playing alongside Haskell and Miller have helped make him a better player.

“Playing with Bradlee and Charlie helps a lot because they’re good shooters who also know how to move the ball,” Stroman said. “We were a little uncomfortable playing together at first, but now we know how to use one another to help the team win.”

Stroman added that he’s received “a lot of praise” from his showcase team coaching staff, but said he feels like he can do more to contribute to the team. Part of that development is grounded in his ability to continue to connect with his teammates, put points on the board and rebound efficiently.

At the beginning of the summer slate, Stroman held just one offer from North Carolina A&T University, and had gained the interest of East Carolina University. Now, he says, programs like The Citadel, Catawba College and Lander University are expressing more interest in his ability on the court.

“It’s nice to get some attention from college programs,” Stroman said. “But what’s motivating me right now is the thought of wanting to go out and play my best every game since we don’t know if we have a school season.

“I’m trying to do what I can and play basketball while I still have the chance to play,” he closed. 

Stroman and Flight 22 will compete in the Big Shots Myrtle Beach Finale on Thursday and Friday.

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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