At 6-foot-4, Trahjan Krupinski is the clear big man on the Nanticoke basketball team, but that does not always make him the biggest player on the floor.
In the many games that Krupinski faces that situation, he has shown the ability to lead the Trojans against bigger opponents.
Krupinski did just that in the first round of the state tournament, providing 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and a blocked shot in a 57-35 romp over Montoursville in a Class 4A game opener at Wilkes University.
“They might be bigger than me or stronger than me a little bit, but if they are, I just have to be quicker than them, get up and down the floor faster,” said Krupinski, who was selected as the PNC Bank District 2 Boys Basketball Player of the Week. “My teammates pass me the ball and get me easy layups.
“I just try to be quicker than them on defense, get rebounds and push the ball up the floor and help my teammates try to score, too.”
The senior center was a big part of Nanticoke’s success on offense, defense and in transition as the Trojans opened a 34-12 lead at the half.
“We put a lot of pressure on them on first,” Krupinski said. “ … We didn’t want to let them get off early. We wanted to pressure them and keep them in check.”
Krupinski has been a major contributor to a successful season at Nanticoke where the Trojans won the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title, reached the WVC Tournament championship game, advanced to the District 2 final at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza and now moved on to the second round of the state tournament.
“Throughout the season, we played our best basketball,” Krupinski said. “This was a special season for my senior year and making it this far was pretty special.”
Krupinski played a big role in that, leading Nanticoke in rebounding and shooting percentage while being the team’s third-leading scorer. He averaged 10.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals.
“He’s the guy who establishes the inside for us,” Nanticoke coach John Beggs said of Krupinski, who had seven double-doubles. “We try to work inside-out, so he’s a very important part of our team.”
Krupinski saw limited varsity action as a freshman and is a three-year starter in basketball. The senior is also ready for his third season as a starter in baseball as a first baseman/pitcher, who occasionally plays in the outfield. He also played football as a freshman and soccer as a sophomore at Nanticoke.
Trahjan is the son of Tony and Tamara Krupinski of Nanticoke. His younger brother, Jake, is also a starter on the team.
The PNC Bank Players of the Week are announced on the John Bucci Show, which airs each Monday at 6 p.m. on NEPA’s ESPN radio and is available on demand. This week’s show can be found at http://webca.st/149013 and season-long archives can be accessed at nepabasketball.com/broadcasts.