The Courtside Sneakers Men’s Basketball Spring League kicks off its inaugural season with three games on Sunday at Holland College in Charlottetown.
Team Blue and Team White will tip off at noon followed by Team Black versus Team Green at 1:15 p.m. Team Red and the P.E.I. Under-17 team finish the day at 2:30 p.m.
The Island’s top current university and college athletes, along with its brightest high school stars and former players make up the six-team league, jointly hosted by Holland College and UPEI.
Games run on Sunday afternoons at Holland College, and Wednesday evenings at Holland College or UPEI. Some games will go at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown.
The 10-game regular season finishes on May 30. The playoffs wrap up on June 10.
The majority of the returning UPEI men’s squad will make up Team White, as current Panthers Donny Moss, Jermaine Duke and Aaron Robbins will be joined by new Panthers Joe Kendrick, Kevin MacLeod, Matt Fennell and Andrew Rogers, as well as incoming freshman DJ Smith and Lorenzo Parker.
Team Green is led by graduating Panthers Manock Lual, a first-team Atlantic University Sport all-star last season year, and AUS second team all-star Jon Cooper. Brothers Mike and Steve Hardy, current Panther guard Ollen Smith and former Charlottetown Rural High School players Kyle Gillis and Kyle Welton make this an athletic squad who will push the tempo.
Six-foot, nine-inch forward and Charlottetown native Doug McKinney, who recently finished his first season with the Summerside Storm of the National Basketball League of Canada, will look to lead Team Black. Black will be strong in the backcourt with Ryan Keliher, Jeff Walker and Matt McKenna. Brett Wood, Ryan Laughlin and Jon Lane round out the roster.
Team Blue features a pair of six-foot, six-inch forwards in Nathan Clark and Jacob Simmons. Blue won’t lack for outside shooting with Matt Morrison of the Holland College Hurricanes, along with Josh Whitty, Ryan Lloyd and speedster Demetrius Ferguson.
Gordon McNeilly will anchor Team Red, which features a mix of senior players. Steady veteran Trevor Postma and Kevin McQuaid will have the ballhandling duties while scoring on the wing will come from Greg Wright, Pat Havard, and Terry McIsaac.
The PEI Under-17 team, which will travel to nationals this summer in Sherbrooke, Que., contains the top Island high school players including provincial high school AAA champions Lucas Coughlin, tournament MVP Mark Matheson, Patrick Murray and Colin Arsenault, all from Three Oaks High school in Summerside.
Full rosters in Friday's Guardian, Page B4