LAUREL HILL — Lane Strickland’s basketball future looks bright.
Strickland — a Laurel Hill School post player who signed scholarship papers with Enterprise State Community College on Thursday — said his decision came down to logistics.
“It’s close to the house and I can go to the house when I want to on a weekend if I get a break,” he said. “It’s close to home. That’s all I’ve got.”
'Great role model'
The 6-foot-5 athlete believes he brings a drive to succeed and ability to get things done to the Enterprise, Ala., college.
Stepping up in competition doesn’t faze Strickland.
“At a small school, playing people like Crestview has prepared me for bigger competition,” he said. “I know I’ve got some bigger opponents coming up.”
Boll Weevils Coach Jeremaine Williams is excited to have Strickland join his team.
“We were attracted to Lane because of his size and athletic ability,” Williams said. “He’s a very athletic kid. He can play defense, which is something you don’t see with a lot of kids today.
“He can also score around the basket. He’s a positive kid and he seems like a great role model. That’s what we are looking to bring to Enterprise.”
'Sky is the limit'
Strickland finished his senior campaign with the Hoboes, averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots a game.
Laurel Hill Coach Kent Zessin thinks Strickland will only get better as he grows on and off the court.
“I’m really thinking he’s going to have a lot of top end on him because he’s still growing,” Zessin said. “The sky is the limit for him. He’s been taught the work ethic and he knows the amount of work you put in is what you are going to get out of it.
“When you’ve got over a 7-foot wing span at 6-5, that’s a plus. He’s able to cover a lot of area in the lane, but he’s also developed his mid-range game a little bit.”
Williams said Strickland will play small forward and strong forward at the college level, noting that his length will give him an advantage over many players in the conference.
Some holes in Strickland's game need work, but Williams is confident he’ll be able to work through those things.
“He needs to work on his face up game with his face to the basket and scoring,” Williams said. “He’s not used to knocking down the 3-ball, and that’s one thing he needs to learn to do ... we are going to work hard to get him there.
“Once he gets that part of his game, he’ll be able to go to the higher level than we are now at junior college.”
Strickland said when he’s finished at Enterprise that Duke would be his dream school.
“My dream school has always been Duke, because of the basketball,” he said. “But what I’m hoping for is another school will pick me up.”
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Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.