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Stringer feeling at home with the Island Storm and NBL of Canada

Island Storm guard Andre Stringer has seen his share of miles in his short pro basketball career playing in Maine, Finland and Canada since graduating from LSU in 2014.
Island Storm guard Andre Stringer has seen his share of miles in his short pro basketball career playing in Maine, Finland and Canada since graduating from LSU in 2014. - Jason Malloy

In Andre Stringer’s case travelling is allowed.

So while most of us haven’t seen much of the world at 25, the Island Storm point guard can give you a quick lowdown of towns in three countries, two continents and one island.

Stringer landed on P.E.I. this season after a stint in Finland last year and by his own admission the Jackson, Miss., native, has done OK adjusting to the National Basketball League of Canada.

“I think it’s pretty good. It’s (been) probably more the style of play here, the physicality. The refs let you play a lot more here,” said Stringer after a recent Storm practice.

Suitcases, passports and travel guides are old hat to Stringer.

He spent two seasons (2014-16) with the G-League’s Maine Red Claws in Portland, Maine, averaging 7.6 points over 88 games.

The two-time Mississippi player of the year (2009-10) and former Mississippi Mr. Basketball (2009) went undrafted by the NBA in 2014, but hooked up with the Red Claws as a free agent.

That after a four-year career at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, La., where he started 93 of 125 games and laid down 10.62 points per game and 2.51 assists over that time.

Looking for an opportunity after his Finnish league experience, Stringer heard of a chance north of the border from Storm director of player personnel Jeff Morrison.

Stringer took it and so far is draining a cool 13 points per game and dishing out over four assists per contest. He’s back to work Sunday against Atlantic Division rival the Moncton Magic. Game time is 2 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.

So how does one adjust not just to different styles of play and travel methods, but different countries and cultures?

For Stringer the secrets lie in basketball and going with the flow.

“Personally, I love the game. I think I’m good at it. I’m young, I have no kids, no wife. Basketball is still number one for me. I’m excited to play at any level, and still having a lot of fun,” he said. “I think it’s a credit to the person I am. I’m (happy) to meet anybody. I’m very open, very friendly. I like to learn about  my surroundings. (Here) it’s hockey. I’m watching a little more hockey.”

As a point guard, basketball is as much a cerebral as physica. Points need to find open men, decide who’s hot, who needs the rock to get going, who shouldn’t get the rock anymore all while often guarding the other team’s best player.

So Stringer’s experience, one in which he’s absorbed several types of offences, defences and coaching systems, will help when his time pounding the parquet ends, although he’s in no hurry to stop lacing up the sneaks. He turns 26 on Dec. 4.

“Maybe mid-30s for me,” he said with a smile. “If it isn’t playing basketball I can see myself as a collegiate coach. I love the game, it’s my passion, and I think that I can teach the game more than I can actually play.”

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A quick look at Andre Stringer’s first three games with the Island Storm.

Nov. 18, vs. St. John’s - 38 minutes, 15 points, five assists, 4-of-6 three-point shooting, three rebounds, two steals.

Nov. 23, vs. Moncton - 42 minutes, 16 points, seven assists, 2-of-9 three-point shooting, four rebounds, zero steals.

Nov. 25, vs. Moncton - 31 minutes, nine points, one assist, 2-of-4 three-point shooting, two rebounds, two steals.

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