Rainmen's Strickland gets lean in the off-season

If John Strickland returns to the Halifax Rainmen next season, expect him to be significantly leaner.<br />

If John Strickland returns to the Halifax Rainmen next season, expect him to be significantly leaner.

Strickland, who played for the Rainmen last season at 6-foot-8 and 275 pounds, has lost more than 40 pounds in the off-season, Rainmen owner Andre Levingston said.

“He’s in phenomenal shape,” said Levingston, who spent time with Strickland in New York City last week. “If you saw Strick right now, you wouldn’t recognize him.”

Strickland, who averaged 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season, could be back in 2010, but Levingston wants to make sure he’s ready to accept a backup role. Affable point guard Jimmy Twyman is in a similar situation.

Strickland, who is a street-ball legend in New York, is using his connections to help Levingston recruit and might be angling for a front-office position down the road.

“Strickland has a great pipeline — great relationships with great players — and that’s what you want from a GM,” Levingston said. “Eventually I may have that conversation with him.”

 
 
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