Summerside Storm places Ballard on IR; signs Shamari Spears

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Players meeting children in Charlottetown this morning, opening practice to fans at Slemon Park this afternoon

Storm players visited Charlottetown today. In this photo tweeted by the team, Brandon Hassel and Doug McKinney hang out with some young fans.

SUMMERSIDE — The Summerside Storm has announced that power forward Antonio Ballard has been placed on injured reserve.

Ballard suffered what the National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada team is terming “a lower body” injury in Saturday night’s 108-96 road win over the Montreal Jazz. Ballard recorded his league-leading 16th double-double of the season in that game with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

In 31 games this season, Ballard is averaging 14.90 points a game and 10.35 rebounds a game.

Ballard, who has been one of the Storm’s most consistent players from Day 1 of the season, is scheduled to see a doctor on Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury.

New player signed

The Storm also announced the signing of six-foot-six power forward Shamari Spears from Salisbury, N.C.

Spears, who arrived in Summerside on Tuesday, is familiar with the NBL of Canada as he played for the London Lightning’s championship team last season. He averaged 13 points a game in the regular season with the Lightning, and scored 18 in the title-clinching game against the Halifax Rainmen.

Spears played his college ball at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned third-team All-Conference honours in his final year, scoring 17 points per game.

Spears played professionally in Chile, South America, this year, and his team’s season just recently concluded.

Players have been visiting fans in Charlottetown this morning, including at the Charlottetown Boys and Girls Club and Creative Day Care Centre. The team's practice will be open to fans at the Slemon Park Sports Centre today from 3 to 6 p.m.

The Storm begins a four-game road trip in Saint John against the Mill Rats on Thursday night.

Organizations: National Basketball League, Montreal Jazz, London Lightning University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Geographic location: Summerside, Canada, Salisbury, N.C. Chile South America Saint John

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