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Boys basketball: Sorsaia brings versatility to Hurricane

By Nick Brockman

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dexterous and quick like a guard, yet strong and physical as a center, Hurricane's Henry Sorsaia plays with hybrid qualities that make him one of the area's biggest inside threats.

The Redskins boast a solid big man in the 6-foot-4 Sorsaia, with plenty of upside, as many of the Kanawha Valley's squads struggle to match his skill set.

"I expect a lot of Henry," Hurricane Coach Lance Sutherland said. "He's got to be able to guard the big guy, but in the same token, he's got to be able to take it, turn and play point guard.

"I don't think there's a big man in the valley or in the conference that can guard him."

Sutherland lists Sorsaia, a junior, as a wing on his official roster, but Sorsaia's position differs game to game and within each contest.

"Wing, forward and center," Sorsaia said describing his roles. "It depends on our offense."

No matter the position, Sorsaia said he's happy to contribute where needed.

"I feel comfortable in all the roles," he said. "If a big man's guarding me, they'll move me out to the wing, and I can take him off the dribble. If there's a smaller guy on me, I can post him up and score inside."

With so much athleticism, Sutherland said Sorsaia's contributions stretch from the blocks to the 3-point arc.

"For us, his best fit is the big, but I think his role, his best fit would be the wing, because I think he has the athletic ability to get there," he said. "When he's played in the past, he's always been taller than everybody else and he's always been the big man, but now I think he's got all the qualities."

One area Sutherland said he hopes Sorsaia will continue to grow is his ball-handling.

"I don't think that trusts himself to really get down the floor and do the point guard-type thing, but he's very capable," Sutherland said. "He's a very well-rounded player."

Sorsaia has worked to improve his outside shooting as well in an effort to become more versatile.

"We said over the summer, 'OK, your mid-range jumper is great. Now, we have to get it back to the 3,' and he's shooting the 3 some this year," Sutherland said. "It's not where he wants to be, but he has a pretty good shot."

Sorsaia finished with a game-high 13 points and team-high five rebounds in Hurricane's 42-31 victory at St. Albans Wednesday, though he didn't get much opportunity to shoot from outside.

"I didn't shoot very much (against St. Albans)," he said. "I usually take it to the basket. I'm better at penetrating, I think, than shooting, but if I can get on a roll I feel like I got a good shot."

While Sorsaia's multi-faceted contributions represent a product of his athletic ability, they're also necessary for someone of Sorsaia's stature looking to potentially play collegiately.

"If he wants to make it to the next level he's going to have to (be multi-talented), because he's not going to be big enough to play big and he's not going to be small enough to play the guard," Sutherland said, "so he's got to be able to do all things well, and we try to preach that in practice, and I expect the same thing of all of our kids."

So, while Sorsaia continues to excel this season, there's much room to grow.

"I think playing with his back to the basket has sacrificed a little bit because we've been working on the outside part of his game," Sutherland said, "so hopefully now, this coming summer, we can put all the aspects in where he can play with his back to the basket or he can come out and shoot."

As Sorsaia's talents continue to multiply and strengthen, his inside dominance and reputation should only increase too.

"That maturity thing will kick in, and I think next year will really be his year," Sutherland said. "He can do it."


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