Sunday, October 9, 2016

No Slim Expectations For Amsterdam Native at NTSI

In building a spanking new program at National Top Sports Institute, head coach Chris Chaney tapped into the international market.

He wound up hauling in several unsung and unknown recruits, each evolving and flashing Division-1 potential.

In Lawrence Slim, out of Amsterdam, Holland, Chaney found a 6-foot-6 sharpshooter who will take on a leadership role both on the court and off it.

Boasting a commendable perimeter game and the ability to put the ball on the floor and make plays, Slim is also a high academic kid. He has Patriot League interest and provides a presence which teammates feed off, according to Chaney.

"He's long, athletic, has developed an IQ and a feel for the game, so we see a lot of potential in him as we keep progressing and moving along," Chaney said.

"He can really stroke it from beyond the arc. In addition to this, he brings a solid character and those attributes which could render him a locker room guy as well."

Slim also brings a decent bloodline.

His older sister, Isabella Slim, is now a 6-foot senior starter for national runner-up Syracuse. She played on the Dutch U17 national team in high school and registered four double doubles as a key interior cog for the U20 European team two summers ago.

Chaney learned of Slim through Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman, a longtime friend who spearheaded the girls basketball programs at Laurinburg Institute (N.C.) and The Patterson School (N.C.).

"Q and I are very close and we definitely go way back," said Chaney.

"He is a Maryland guy as well. He was my assistant coach at Newport School in 1998. Fortunately, I was able to persuade him to start the girls program at Laurinburg in 2002. Then he found The Patterson School and I went to coach there in 2006 after he left to go to (University of) Alabama."

After serving as an assistant at Alabama, Hillsman took the Syracuse job 11 years ago.

He initially inherited a downtrodden, dungeon dwelling program that was the oft-ignored stepchild to the monstrous men's program.

Now Hillsman is just 11 victories shy of becoming Syracuse's all-time winningest coach. Hillsman has gone 219-116 after inheriting a train wreck which managed just 28 victories in three seasons combined. He's driven the team to national acclaim and now a berth in the 2016 national title game.

Hillsman's stature in Holland, where he has coached several national teams over the years, tied him into the Slim's.

Slim brings versatility as a triple threat caliber scorer. With his length and the culture of toughness Chaney is known to implement, there's plenty of promise.

"Right now, he's one of those kids that just has the smarts on the court and off it," Chaney said.

"He's the type of kid who might be the poster boy of your program."