Justin Van Stroom
|No. 47 – Restricted Free Agent|
|Species||River Otter ( Mustelidae )|
March 18, 1993|
|Listed height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Listed weight||138 lb (63 kg)|
|FBA draft||2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 30th overall|
|Selected by the Arizona Whips|
|Pro playing career||2015–present|
|(OOC) Creator||Quinn McAllister|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Justin Van Stroom was born in Pella, Iowa on March 18, 1993. Growing up, Justin was constantly exposed to basketball by his father David, who coached the local high school boys' basketball team. However, Justin was always undersized growing up and found it difficult to even compete with other players his age, as he was usually physically overpowered. He nearly became discouraged and quit, but using his favorite FBA players as motivation, he continued playing basketball throughout his childhood.
It was always assumed that as the coach's son, there would be a starting spot for Justin on the high school team. As such, it was a major shock when Justin was cut from the team by his own father in his first year of high school. Devastated, Justin refused to talk to his father for weeks and nearly quit the sport again. Eventually, Justin decided that basketball was his life's passion, and he planned to prove to his father that he was good enough to play.
Over the next year after his exit from the team, Justin poured his life into basketball, practicing for hours a day and even bribing the janitor of the local YMCA to allow him to access courts at all hours. When Justin wasn't playing basketball, he was studying basketball – watching game footage of the best point guards in the pros, reading through playbooks, and analyzing strategies.
Justin's hard work paid off, as he made the team his sophomore year and started at point guard his junior and senior year. However, even after leading his school to a state championship, Justin garnered almost no interest from college recruiters, who ignored him due to his small size and perceived lack of athleticism. Justin was determined to play college basketball, however, and walked on at Keokuk A&M.
Justin barely made the Keokuk team his freshman year, serving largely as the team's 12th man and getting barely any playing time. An opportunity opened up the next year, as the team's backup point guard suffered a season-ending injury, allowing Justin to play increased minutes. He struggled early on but improved as the season went on, accruing 13 points and 6 assists in his final appearance of the year.
The next year, Justin fought for a starting spot on the Keokuk team and ended up barely being chosen. He struggled again early on with the task of leading a college-level team, and he was benched for a stretch of five games. At this point, he considered leaving the team or transferring. It took an impromptu visit from Justin's father to convince him to keep playing, and he started hitting the weight room and practice court with a vengeance.
Regaining his starting spot, Justin was far improved in the second half of the season, averaging 16 points and nine assists a game, along with around two steals a game. As such, big things were expected of Justin in his senior season (as he was finally awarded a scholarship). He certainly delivered, taking control of an improving Keokuk team and averaging 17 points and 11 assists a game. His years of study taught him to see the whole court, and he seemed to have an almost telepathic link with his teammates, constantly setting them up for open shots with top-notch passing. Justin was named the team's player of the year.
After his senior season, despite both his own doubts and the doubts of those around him, Justin declared for the FBA draft.
Playing style: Justin is largely a pass-first point guard, although he has a solid jump shot. He's not especially athletic, so he can't often penetrate a defense for layups, but his excellent footwork and great court vision allows him to score more than one would expect. He's not a fantastic defensive player, but his scrappy style of play and seemingly endless reservoirs of hustle and energy allow him to hold his own, and he gets a high number of steals by catching opposing ball-handlers unaware.
Since Justin is at a major physical disadvantage due to his small size, his game is based almost entirely on trying harder than everyone else on the court. It wasn't uncommon for Justin to collapse after games in college, completely spent from exerting himself.
Justin has jet black hair that he usually keeps short. He started wearing sport goggles in high school after his aggressive style of play led to a number of “inadvertent” elbows to the face, and the clear goggles have become one of his trademarks. He has light brown eyes.
Off the court, Justin dresses rather conservatively, opting for polo shirts or button-downs, and khaki pants or jeans. He wears glasses.
2015 - 2016 Regular Season Stats
2016 - 2017 Regular Season Stats