Grant Strawoet joins dad on JB staff
After guiding his boys basketball team to the PIAA Class 3A semifinals back in 2006-07, James Buchanan coach Larry Strawoet went on a five-year hiatus.
He rejoined the Rocket staff only when his son, Grant, entered his senior season.
Fast forward another three and a half years, and Grant and Larry have once again been united on the basketball court.
After finishing his academic load at Methodist University a semester early, Grant has returned home to JB to help his father as an assistant coach for the remainder of the season.
"As my career comes to a close here at some point in the near future," Larry said, "you have certain opportunities that you take full advantage of. One was when I came back and was blessed to be able to coach him for that last year.
"To have him have the opportunity to finish college, come home and sit on our staff and coach with me, it's just been very special."
For the past several years, Grant has been going to school to become a PGA club professional. In order to earn his PGA card, Grant must complete one final internship, which he will serve at Baltimore Country Club for seven months.
But luckily for the father and son duo, Grant's internship does not begin until March, giving him time to spend with a game he loves.
"I'm actually looking to become a golf professional, and I'd like to maybe coach golf," Grant said. "Maybe someday I'll step back on the basketball court. I definitely love the game; I just chose golf as my career for now."
Grant joined the coaching staff for the Big Spring Holiday Classic Tournament, and has been there ever since.
"It's different for sure," Grant said. "Before (when I was playing), I was the one getting yelled at, and now I'm pointing out things to (Larry) that I see on the sideline."
And as a former player who averaged double figures his senior season, Grant has a connection with the Rockets that can't be denied.
"He can relate well to the players," Larry said. "Obviously, age-wise, he's closer to their age than our staff is. Coach (John) Lum and I are dinosaurs, so (Grant) pretty much knows their music and their language and lingo. He's been able to bridge that gap for us a little bit."
Grant has also provided the base knowledge of just how good James Buchanan can be. As a youngster, Grant sat alongside Larry as he led the Rockets to that memorable state semifinal. And as a three-sport athlete (golf, basketball, tennis) himself, Grant brings a solid work ethic to the table.
"He understands where our program has been because he saw our glory," Larry said. "He saw the approach that that team had, and that's his approach as an athlete. He's always had a team-first, hard-working mentality, and that's what he's brought to the kids here."
The Strawoet family in general is heavily involved in sports. Abby Strawoet, now a sophomore at East Stroudsburg, played volleyball for JB, while Maggie Strawoet is a current sophomore under Rocket girls basketball coach Jen Lauthers.
"And without Kim (Larry's wife), we would not be able to be the type of family that we are and share our passions with other people," Larry said.
Although becoming a golf professional is first on Grant's to-do list, if he ever does decide to go into coaching full-time, he certainly has his father's approval.
"Oh my gosh, he'd be a wonderful coach, because first and foremost, he cares about the kids," Larry said. "I may not be the best coach in the world with X's and O's, but I think every one of our kids know that I love them dearly and I care about that. That's what his approach would be also."