Sunday, February 14, 2016

NBLCNET Player Profile: Logan Stutz

Logan Stutz is taking the NBL Canada by storm after nearly missing  out on the season.

Get to Know Him

Favourite Hobby: Spending time with his daughter Zeva
Favourite Song: "You Are I Am" by MercyMe
Favourite Movie: Any Disney movie
Favourite Sports Team: Kansas City Royals
Favourite Life Moment: Getting married
Favourite Web Site: Facebook
Future Career Goals: Training or coaching basketball
Interesting Fact: Not much of a sports or basketball fan, just enjoy playing it
On the NBL Canada: "The NBL Canada is a young league, and just like a young team it has it struggles and it rewards. I would love the league to grow...and be a great place for basketball and a great league for Canada."


Logan Stutz was born and raised in the town of Blue Springs, which is located just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up with an older brother Trevor, a younger brother Garrett, and a younger sister Maddi. Logan played sports with his siblings in his driveway and yard, but he didn't just focus on basketball. He would play anything ranging from football to golf to hockey. He got his first feel of organised basketball in fifth grade, joining the local basketball team, and then moving on to a travel team as a high school sophomore. Stutz loved playing the game and worked hard on the court, with his parents showing support for him. He attended Plaza Heights Christian Academy, a K-12 school in his hometown. The basketball team was made up of players from 8th grade to 12th grade and even some homeschoolers, and his father, Bill, was the head coach. Stutz, who played point guard at the time, and his younger brother shined and grew as players with the help of their father. Despite being one of the smaller schools in the area, Plaza Heights eventually found itself with an exceptional basketball team. The team could not play any games against any public schools in Stutz's time there, but they faced only about three losses during his stint. He was one of seven students from Plaza Heights to graduate in his senior year, and he left with a positive approach towards hoops.

Stutz takes a shot for Washburn vs. the University of Kansas.

After leaving high school, Stutz had high hopes for where to play college basketball, including the NCAA Division I. But it came to his mind that he could continue to develop his game at a smaller school and get more and more offers. So he settled for Butler County Community College, a two-year school in El Dorado, Kansas. After averaging about 13 points and 5 rebounds during his freshman season, Stutz had received several more offers from Division I schools and went on multiple visits. However, he chose to remain in Kansas with his wife, who he met at Butler CC, and his family. Moving on to his sophomore year, he decided to attend Washburn University in Topeka, where he got the opportunity to play against older players of a similar level. Following his first season at Washburn, Stutz averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds and found himself in a small role for his team, but that changed as his career continued and by senior season, he was averaging a solid 20 points and 8 rebounds.

Following three years at Washburn, Stutz had to decide whether or not to play basketball for a career. He was hesitant at first, but that all changed when he began receiving calls from agents. Before long, he was headed to Germany, and within months he was back on the court with BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen of the Pro A, the second best league in the country. Stutz was blown away by the transition. He was going from playing with players his own age to seasoned pros that knew how to play the game. Also, the stakes were far higher: he had to perform or else he would be off the team and without a job. In fact, he received a degree in kinesiology online as a backup plan. But the same success that powered him through college returned and Stutz was back posting exceptional numbers. Stutz took trips to Austria, Sweden, and even Bulgaria during those years to play for a wide variety of teams. However, he found Germany the best place to live in because of its culture and stability. In Europe, some of his best memories were seeing the northern lights in Sweden and visiting Nazareth, Israel, as a religious person.

Stutz drives to the rim with two different teams in Europe.
But in 2015, after becoming a father, Stutz made the decision to return closer to his family, despite seeing many good offers coming from European teams. Putting family first, he chose to pursue a contract in Canada, and he took everything he had in Europe to his new home. As the NBL Canada was opening its fifth season, Stutz signed a training camp deal with the London Lightning, where he took a leading role in scrimmages and practices. But shockingly, he was soon cut by the team. For two days after discovering this, Stutz offered to take pay cuts and pleaded with the team so that he could keep on living there. His family had already switched their insurance, bank accounts, cell phones, and car so that they could live in Canada, and having to leave the country would be a disaster. But he couldn't do anything about it, and Stutz packed his things up and began to get in his car to head back to his hometown. 

Stutz currently leads the Niagara River Lions in their first NBLC season.
However, at that moment, he received a text message from the Niagara River Lions, asking for him to head over to St. Catharines. Then he called head coach Ken Murray, who was happy to have him on his team, and in a matter of minutes all of his plans changed. Stutz was also pleased at the offer because he could visit family in Buffalo, New York, which was under an hour away from Niagara. Entering the regular season, Stutz found the NBL Canada both fast and fun to play in. Despite lacking the fundamentals of the slow-paced European game, the Canadian league was more entertaining to play in and had scores better raw talent. In only his first few games, Stutz had been named co-Player of the Week with monstrous stat lines. He hopes to remain with the River Lions for as long as possible and has his father, siblings, his mother, Valerie, and God to thank for helping him reach the level he is at.