Terry Thomas is trying to make an impression.
The East Preston, N.S., native is attending his first National Basketball League of Canada training camp. The six-foot-four, 186-pound wing is one of 15 players trying to make the Island Storm’s 12-player roster for opening night on Boxing Day.
“Every second in the gym is important,” Thomas said before Tuesday’s practice. “It’s training camp. (Coach) still has cuts to make.”
Thomas said there is “a lot of great talent” in camp and the players are pushing each other in order to put their best foot forward.
“Being here the last few days it’s definitely an eye-opener,” Thomas said. “I like it though. It definitely pushes my game.”
Each team must have four Canadians on their roster and the Storm has six in camp.
Thomas played basketball for Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour, N.S., where he competed against players like UPEI Panthers guard Tyler Scott and some of the Holland College Hurricanes.
Thomas suited up for head coach Steve Konchalski at St. F.X. University, where he was a teammate of former UPEI guard Ellis Ffrench.
After three seasons at X, Thomas transferred to the University of Ottawa, where he finished fourth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in scoring at 22.4. He also averaged 5.9 rebounds, two assists and 2.4 steals per game in his only season with the Gee-Gees.
In July 2014, he signed his first professional contract with the Hamburg Towers of the German A league. It was the same league former Storm wing Brandon Robinson played in.
Thomas averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 29 games with the Towers.
Thomas said the transition to the pro ranks was nerve-racking, but his time in the CIS helped.
“Playing at the highest level in Canada, playing against a lot of great talent, it prepared me,” he said. “It taught me some sacrifices need to be made for the game.”
Now he is looking to solidify a spot with the Storm.
“I’m trying to bring energy (and) a defensive mindset,” he said. “My career started on defence.”
All 15 players remaining in camp will be going to Sydney, N.S., for the Storm's first exhibition game on Friday with the Halifax Hurricanes. Head coach Joe Salerno said he hopes to have his 12-player roster set for the Dec. 21 exhibition game in Moncton against the Miracles. The Storm opens the regular season Boxing Day against the Saint John Mill Rats.
A look at the Island Storm training camp roster.