Strom Spikes Sweden

Ambrose Lions, #13 Keaton Strom
Ambrose Lions, #13 Keaton Strom

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

Keaton Strom admits that he is "a self-proclaimed Nerd…a big video gamer…it distracts my mind from everything."

He is also an aficionado of the silver screen.

"I just recently watched Remember the Titans and forgot how amazing that one was," said Strom, a fifth-year student/athlete at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. "It's a good movie. A put-me-in-coach type of movie."

Asked what the title would be, if his life story was to make the big screen....Strom hesitated.

After a few moments thought he broke the silence: That's a hard one. I don't want to sound arrogant and at same time I don't want to sell myself too short…so I'll have to wait to answer that one later."

If a script was to be written, it would begin with the Calgary native growing up in a sport-orientated family.

His father Lorne played one season of soccer (1980-81) for the John Brown University Golden Eagles in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Older sister Holly was a high-scoring 5-foot-11 (Keaton adds that she is really 6-feet in height) basketball player for the Trinity Western Spartans in U Sport.

Holly's husband is Canadian National Men's Volleyball Team member Lucas Van Berkel. He stands 6-foot-11.

Keaton's brother Ian, standing 6-foot-2, was also an all-around athlete.

Keaton himself, literally, stands above the crowd at 6-foot-6.

At 6-foot-6, he was a lanky lad, weighing in at 160-pounds when he entered the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) ranks, playing volleyball for the Briercrest Clippers.

In two seasons (2013-2015), he appeared in only 16 ACAC regular season games for the Caronport, Saskatchewan based school.

Part of it was paying dues as a rookie, while another facet was a reoccurring shoulder injury which was later diagnosed as bursitis.

Switching to Ambrose University Lions for 2015-2016, their second year in ACAC volleyball action, Strom's playing time skyrocketed with appearance in 86 sets with 240 kills recorded.

Last year he totaled a team high 201 kills in 63 sets from the left side.

This year he is on pace for another impressive season with 44 kills in 16 sets during early season action.

Not bad for the former multi-sport athlete, who dropped basketball in Grade 12 to concentrate on volleyball at Centennial High School.

"To be honest, my love for volleyball basically came out of nowhere," said Strom, who is enrolled in Youth Ministry. "One day basketball was fun and the next day, volleyball was even more fun."

Of his three years at Ambrose: "It was great to come back to Calgary, where I could attend a Christian –based school in my home town. It has been amazing. I have nothing bad to say about it. The guys on the team have been amazing and like-minded. I have learned a ton and improved a lot."

He has also filled out, now weighing in at 190 pounds.

He concluded that his future goal is to play professional volleyball upon graduation.

"Somewhere in Europe. My brother-in-law (Van Berkel) currently plays in Italy (Monini Marconi Spoleto Italy A-2) and I hope to follow a similar path. My initial thought would be in Sweden and he said he would try to work some connections for my sake and talk to his former coaches. So my initial thought would be to play for the same club team that he did."

The last question asked before ending the 12-minute telephone interview.

Have you thought of a movie title for your life story yet?

Silence at the other end of the line.

So, here for Keaton Strom is a suggested title, "Strom Spikes Sweden."