Sully looks to lead Troy High hoops to district, regional repeat

By: Timothy Pontzer | Troy Times | Published February 13, 2018

 Troy High senior power forward Danny Sully puts up a shot during a contest earlier this season. A three-year varsity player, Sully serves as a team captain for the Colts and leads the team in rebounds. Photo by Mariusz Nowak

Troy High senior power forward Danny Sully puts up a shot during a contest earlier this season. A three-year varsity player, Sully serves as a team captain for the Colts and leads the team in rebounds. Photo by Mariusz Nowak

TROY — When he was in elementary school, Danny Sully had an example of what he wanted to be as a senior in high school.

His brother, Michael, served as the team captain of the Troy High basketball team. Before Michael Sully graduated in 2011, he capped off his prep career by guiding the Colts to a league title.

Seven years later, the younger Sully hopes to follow in those footsteps, matching his brother not only with a similar trophy but also as a leader on and off the hardwood. 

“I really looked up to my brother, and I thought it was really cool that he was the captain of the team,” Sully said after a Feb. 7 practice. “I picked up things from him like he never swore, so I never swear even when I’m really mad. He always bullied me in a brotherly way to push me, and that’s where I got my competitiveness. I want to be a leader like him.”

Now in his third year on varsity, Sully is continuing that legacy by serving as a team captain. At press time, the Colts were 11-3 overall and 6-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division, which put them in second place.

Sully was shooting 52 percent from the floor and leading the team with 10.5 rebounds per game. He also was averaging 13 points per contest.

“What makes (Sully) special is that he has leadership and hustle,” Troy coach Gary Fralick said. “That’s a nice combo; you can’t beat it. He’s very well-respected by players and coaches on the other teams and obviously everyone here at Troy.”

Now in his 24th year at the helm of the program, Fralick fondly remembers Michael Sully leading the team and is impressed with how the younger brother is doing the same.

“They’re both quiet kids who just play hard all the time,” Fralick said. “His brother was a great captain, but he wasn’t as big and didn’t play as many minutes as Danny. They’re similar leaders in the way they approach the game.”

Fralick praised Sully’s unselfish nature, something he saw seven years ago in his older brother.

“He’s getting interest from some colleges, but he doesn’t care about his final stat line, and that’s rather refreshing in today’s game,” Fralick explained. “He doesn’t give a glimmer of selfishness, and that’s what I really appreciate. He is a great captain who comes to work every single day.”

Fralick said that team-first quality is on display in the role Sully takes on each night.

“He gets beat up every game,” Fralick said. “He’s our biggest guy, so he’s always going against the opponent’s biggest guy. You can tell the next day he’s sore with his knees and elbows. He’s played through a variety of ailments this year, but he never complains. He’s a dream to coach because he never complains — he just plays.”

Sully said he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

“We have lots of scorers, so my job is to mostly rebound and then try to put them back,” Sully explained. “I’m not the best scorer, but I know I’m one of the better rebounders, so I try to do well there. I don’t need the points, and I really don’t mind. I’ll do whatever they ask of me.”

Fralick said those rebounds are key to extending possessions. Additionally, he said Sully’s scoring prowess may not be heralded, but it has come in clutch in several contests.

“He always goes for the offensive rebound and blocks out for the defensive rebound,” Fralick said. “He can be a threat to score too and sometimes can kind of sneak up on people with that.

“Offensively, all five guys become perimeter players at certain times, and when he has the opportunity he takes full advantage. He’s great at the pump fake, dribble drive and has had a good number of dunks this year. He’s become very solid from 3-point range, and that makes him a good inside-out player. He’ll make a great college player.”

As a junior, Sully played a key role as Troy captured a share of a league crown and advanced to win district and regional titles. He hopes to use that experience for another deep postseason push.

“We’re really focused on the playoffs. I feel more confident after last year, and our entire team has learned from that,” Sully said. “Sometimes in the games with big crowds, we struggled a bit. I’m trying to be that guy who motivates us and keeps things positive. We know what we’re capable of mentally and physically, and I know this team can win any game we want if we perform at our best.”