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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Island Storm has added toughness to its frontcourt and a familiar face to the fanbase.
The National Basketball League of Canada team announced the signing of Tirrell Baines on Friday. The six-foot-seven, 230-pound forward played two seasons with the Storm in 2015-16 and 2016-17 before spending last season with the Moncton Magic.
“He’s a hard-working, tough guy, who can defend the big forwards up front,” head coach Tim Kendrick said. “I just like the way he plays.”
Baines, a Laurens, South Carolina native who went to Marshall University, averaged 6.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and nearly an assist per game in 31 contests for the Magic in 2017-18. He averaged 12 points and more than five rebounds during his two seasons with the Storm and is looking forward to playing for the Storm fans and owner Duncan Shaw again.
“It’s a great opportunity. I am thankful that Duncan and coach are having me back. It’s exciting, and I’m ready to get to work,” the 32-year-old veteran said. “I’m one of the older guys, so I am going to bring my leadership and I’m going to do what I do best: play hard and do whatever it takes to win.”
The Storm was looking to add some size and toughness to its frontcourt and knew Baines was available. Storm forward Brad States connected Baines with Kendrick and before long the contract was signed.
Baines also knows Tyler Scott from his time in Charlottetown and played last season with Marquis Clayton in Moncton. He is looking forward to reconnecting with his friends.
“It’s good to go play with people you know and already have relationships with,” he said. "I am very happy to be back playing in front of the best fans that the NBL has to offer.”
He has seen the Storm’s training camp roster and is looking forward to meeting his new teammates while not having to face centre Carl Hall in games.
“Carl is a big physical player. I’ve played against him a few times,” Baines said. “I’m happy to be with him instead of playing against him.”
The Storm opens training camp on Oct. 31 at Colonel Gray High School. The team expects to open camp with 17 active players with forward Dominic Shuler currently dealing with a foot injury that could keep him out for the first couple of days of camp.
The team has already announced 13 players and a couple more will be coming in the next few days.
Training camp roster
A look at the announced players who will be attending the Island Storm’s training camp.