Final push as Islanders play 3 games this week before Christmas break
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – It’s all about focus for the Charlottetown Islanders.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Bradley States is turning pro.
The former UPEI Panthers forward decided to forgo playing his final season of university/college ball for the Holland College Hurricanes with the hope of making the Island Storm.
He signed with the Storm on Tuesday morning and practiced with the team Tuesday night.
“I’m pretty confident in my game, so I’m not going to come out here and play scared,” the 22-year-old Bathurst, N.B., native said before practice. “I am confident that I will hold my own in this league.”
States was a first team all-star in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) in 2015-16. In his fourth year in the conference, States averaged 19 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
States wouldn’t specify why he wasn’t at UPEI this year.
“I just thought it was time for me to move on from there,” he said. “It’s a great program. They were really good to me. It just didn't seem to work out at the end.”
States was enrolled at Holland College in the first semester but wasn’t eligible to play until after Christmas.
With the Hurricanes hosting the national championship in March, States could have been a big factor for the host squad.
“I honestly didn't think I was going to get any better in that league,” States said.
“This was more of a challenge for me. . .
“I live in the present and this is what is standing in front of me right now and I am going to tackle it with everything I’ve got.”
States was one of the players the Storm selected in the Canadian draft in September. UPEI guard Tyler Scott was a first-round pick while States went in Round 2.
Storm head coach Joe Salerno said he enjoyed watching States play at UPEI.
“His ceiling is very high. I think he has unlimited potential on the basketball court,” he said. “His goal right now is to make the roster.”
The next step would be to crack the rotation and earn more minutes.
States seems himself as a stretch four or a small forward at the next level. He knows there will be an adjustment to the speed and physicality of playing in the NBL, but knows guys can make the jump from the AUS.
States started his career at Acadia when Storm guard Terry Thomas was at St. FX.
“He’s a great player and I am looking forward to learning from him,” States said.
The six-foot-six, 214-pound forward has been talking with his parents about turning pro since the summer. Things ramped up on Monday night when States spent a couple of hours on the phone discussing the best route for him to take.
“I feel like I am ready,” States said. “I’m not seeing failure as option for me right now. . . I am going to do everything I can” to make the Storm.