CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The youth movement continues for the Island Storm as it has brought versatile forward Arnold (A.J.) Fripp into the fold for training camp.
At 24, he may be young, but he brings a world of knowledge having played a season of professional ball overseas.
The Coppin State graduate most recently played for BBC Grengewald in the Luxembourg N2 Basketball League and was a vital piece to the team, averaging 22.6 points per game on 51.6 per cent shooting, while grabbing 8.8 rebounds a night. The jack of all trades also averaged 1.8 blocks and 1.6 steals per contest.
The six-foot-seven forward’s greatest asset is his versatility and ability to guard smaller, quicker guards on the perimeter and bigger forwards down low on the block, while exploiting each position on the offensive end.
“I’m comfortable with my back to the basket, but I’m also comfortable out on the perimeter,” said the Brooklyn, N.Y. native. “I’ll do whatever the coach asks of me. I’m real versatile and I’m not set at any one position.”
Having played guard at the high school level certainly helped. It taught him skills that other players his size may not do as well. Fripp’s ball-handling skills allow him to get to the paint with ease and he has a consistent soft-touch floater in his arsenal.
“I really like his ability to score in a variety of ways,” said head coach Tim Kendrick. “He excels at both ends of the court and is an intelligent player.”
At the collegiate level, everybody comes in wanting to be the “man” and typically excels at one aspect of the game, Fripp said. It wasn’t until he went overseas where he had to learn how to earn minutes on the court, especially when his shot wasn’t falling.
“I learned that to stay on the court, you have to be able to do more than one thing well,” he said. “I got stronger and became a more vocal leader, who could defend multiple positions.”
With such a young squad at his disposal, Kendrick has been looking for someone to become his leader on the court. And perhaps Fripp fits that mold.
“He’s a solid pro and we’re very pleased to have him here with the Storm,” Kendrick said. “I’m hoping he can take on a leadership role with our team.”
Players arrived during the weekend and will see their first on-court action on Tuesday.
– Compiled by Thomas Becker for the Island Storm.
A look at the players attending the Island Storm training camp.