(WAOW) - Nearly every player on the Newman boys basketball team wasn't a member of the varsity team last year including leading scorer Ryan Strasser
We feature Strasser as this week's Newsline 9 Athlete of the Week. For the complete story, read below or please click on the provided video link.
"The Newman boys' basketball team may not have a record breaking season, but if the Cardinals have great success over the next few years, senior Ryan Strasser is likely a big reason why.
"Hopefully those guys that Ryan helps out and takes under his wing, when they come back the next season, they do that for somebody else and it's a domino effect," Newman head coach Jeff Gress said.
"I hope to lead by example and show them the hard work I put in and what leads to success," Strasser said. "If you put that time in, good things are going to come and I hope they follow that example."
Strasser's success may be a surprise to some people because he wasn't even part of the varsity team a year ago. But after seeing his hard work and dedication in the offseason, nobody in the Newman gym was caught off guard.
"I pretty much shot everyday, I'd stay after practice almost everyday to work on my shot because I know I have to do that to be successful, so I just put a lot of extra time in," Strasser said.
"He's done that on his own where he's worked on his jump shot in the season to get a deeper range which has really made a big difference for his game this year," Gress said.
Five times this season Strasser has scored more than 20 points, including a 32 point effort against Prentice. His coach says his ability to score and be a leader on the court will not only help this season, but for many years to come.
"It's big anytime you have somebody step up and take that role on with those younger guys," Gress said. "It really makes a difference."