‘Nothing is impossible’: Stuckman to impart lessons of drive, persistence during basketball camp at QND

Tanner Stuckman 1

Quincy native Tanner Stuckman, who played basketball at Quincy Notre Dame and Quincy University and just finished his third season playing professionally overseas, will hold a skills camp for players in grades 5-8 on July 10-12 at The Pit. | Photo courtesy Alimerka Oviedo Baloncesto

QUINCY — Through all of the chaos playing professional basketball overseas can create, former Quincy University standout Tanner Stuckman has held tight to one mantra.

“Nothing is impossible,” said Stuckman, who walked on at QU following his prep career at Quincy Notre Dame and developed into a first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection by his final season. “Whatever you want to do, put it in front of you, and chase the crap out of that thing.”

Stuckman will attempt to instill this same drive in the grade school players participating in the Tanner Stuckman Basketball Skills Training Camp, which will take place July 10-12 in The Pit at Quincy Notre Dame. The camp is open to players in grades 5-8.

“Being able to impact these kids and help them get better at a game but also speak into them, tell them about my journey and inspire them to be great, be great people and achieve dreams, that’s why I do it,” Stuckman said. “I want these kids to understand, if you have a dream, you can accomplish it.”

For Stuckman, a 2016 graduate of QND and a 2021 graduate of QU, returning home to host the camp at a place where intends to coach when his playing days are through brings back plenty of fond memories.

“QND will always have a special place in my heart,” Stuckman said. “ I really think that Quincy Notre Dame is one of the greatest places on Earth. I love this place, and it is a big reason why I’m doing what I am today and how I am today as a person.”

Stuckman started kicking around the idea of a basketball camp after his first year of playing professional basketball for KaU Koris Karkkila in the Finland 1st Division and the Windsor Express of NBL Canada in 2021-22. After his second season with the Express — one in which he averaged 11.5 points per game for a team that reached the NBL Canada Finals — he got the ball rolling on the camp, but it still took some convincing from the people closest to him to do so.

“My wife Olivia pushed me toward it,” Stuckman said. “She’s like, ‘Let’s do this thing. Let’s just do it.’ Talking with my parents as well, they’re like, ‘Just do it. Don’t just sit here and talk about it. Let’s get it rolling.’”

With the camp now in its second year, Stuckman hopes it will grow like he grew over the last year.

“It was a defining year for me,” Stuckman said.

Stuckman signed with Alimerka Oviedo Baloncesto of the LEB Oro — now Primera FEB, the second division of the Spanish basketball league system — prior to the 2023-24 season. While Stuckman’s statistics of 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game may not jump off the page, he posted these numbers in the one of the top second divisions in Europe.

“This is the most confident I’ve been,” Stuckman said. “I’ve got my footing and I know what to expect. Now it’s time to start making the big jumps, start jumping to the bigger teams, bigger leagues. This is what you dream about in college and even as a pro, trying to make these big jumps. I feel like I’m close to doing that.”

Not only did Stuckman make substantial leaps on the basketball court, he said his time in Spain changed his life for the better off the court.

“Whenever I retire from basketball and I’m old and can’t move anymore, I’ll think back to this year because it was a year that I finally felt like I took a step forward — a step forward in my faith, in my marriage, in my basketball career, everything,” Stuckman said. “It was a year of growth. That’s the best way to put it.

“On top of that, I got to stay in one of the most beautiful places in all of Spain, in northern Spain. That place is just amazing. Twenty minutes to the left, I have mountains, and 20 minutes to the right, I have the beach. You can’t go wrong with that.

“I will remember this year for the rest of my life.”

Stuckman credited the differences in Spanish culture for helping shape one of the most impactful years of his life.

“The biggest culture shock was how relaxed (the Spanish) are,” Stuckman said. “In America, it’s the rat race, right. Let’s work, let’s work, let’s work, let’s see how high we can climb up the chain. Spanish culture is more relaxed. I’ll get to it when I get to it. I’m not in a hurry. I came to appreciate that. It helped me relax a little bit more and not get so uptight about things.

“Enjoy your life and don’t get caught in the rat race of let’s fly around and get 600 things done. How about we just focus on one thing, let’s enjoy our family, and let’s just enjoy life.”

Visa issues meant Tanner and Olivia weren’t physically together for all 10 months in Spain, and she didn’t get to go with Tanner when he left for Finland a little more than three months after they got married.

“Adjusting to being married your first year is already hard,” Stuckman said. “Moving to a foreign country and being separated for part of it is very difficult. We’ve become accustomed to that a little bit. I’m hoping in my future deal she can be there the whole time.”

Tanner has cherished that limited time they have shared in three different places they may have never visited if it weren’t for basketball.

“It’s an amazing experience to get to travel the world with her,” Stuckman said. “She’s a homebody, and I am too, but it’s amazing that we’re now able to travel the world.”

With his next team still undecided, Stuckman has turned his attention to not only his basketball camp and hosting individual lessons but also his offseason training and recovery.

“Just working out, prepping for the next year. That’s the mindset,” Stuckman said. “Also trying not to kill anyone on the golf course.”

Even though he is 26 years old, Stuckman has put a lot of miles on his body — literally and figuratively — so he said his plan of attack has changed this summer.

“My mindset this summer is all about recovery and mobility,” Stuckman said. “It’s still strength stuff and still getting the work in at the gym, but this summer is a different approach. It’s less wear and tear, more rest, more mobility, and more focus on taking care of my body.” 

Stuckman’s goal is to play professionally for 10 years.

“Getting to 10 years is going to be a heck of a challenge, but that’s why you take care of your body now,” Stuckman said.

As Stuckman can attest, nothing is impossible.

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