Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman to attend Duke University graduation ceremony | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman to attend Duke University graduation ceremony

May 07, 2016 - 2:32 PM

TORONTO - Marcus Stroman is about to see his hard work off the field pay off.

In the midst of rehabbing his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last summer, the 25-year-old crammed in five classes over two summer sessions at Duke University. His commitment in the classroom saw him complete the required credits to receive his sociology degree from the prestigious university.

Stroman (4-0) will travel to Durham, North Carolina, immediately after his start against the Giants in San Francisco on Wednesday and formally receive his degree at Duke's commencement weekend.

"He mentioned that to me and I said, 'he's got to do that'," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told The Canadian Press. "It's huge for an individual to graduate from college. You look at the combination of what he's been able to accomplish: major league ball player, finishing school — it's a big day for him and his family and everybody.

"It sets a wonderful example so I would be very disappointed if he didn't make it. So that's the plan."

Stroman tore his ACL while participating in fielding practice at the Blue Jays spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla., in March 2015. The initial diagnosis called for the Medford, N.Y., native to miss the entire 2015 season following surgery.

After rigorous rehab regimen, which included two-a-days, six days a week for four months, Stroman returned to the Blue Jays rotation last September and earned a 4-0 record to go along with an impressive 1.67 earned-run average. He also made three post-season starts with one win and two no decisions.

"That's a huge accomplishment to be able to do that the way he did it. Not a lot of people understand how hard that was to do, and don't understand what he kind of went through. There was a lot of long days, not a lot of sleep," said Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez, one of Stroman's closest friends on the team. "In between all the graduation stuff, he was rehabbing too so what a great accomplishment at one of the most prestigious schools in North America."

Gibbons, who has two sons and a daughter, believes that in today's day and age, too much importance is placed on athletics with education being secondary.

"There ought to be more focus on education, I think the world would be better off so anytime you chose to do that, I'm all for it," he said. "Marcus is a different kind of individual. He's really got it all together. He's a great athlete, a great pitcher in the major leagues — he's really just your all-round individual.

"His mom and dad did a wonderful job with him. They stressed education, which I think is very, very important."

Duke's commencement weekend runs May 13-15. Stroman is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays in Toronto to make his scheduled start against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 16.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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