CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Island Storm has selected its players for opening night.
The National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada team has set its 12-man roster after a weeklong training camp. Damon Miraud was the final cut Wednesday, leaving the team with 13 players, including Dominic Shuler, who is out with an ankle injury.
The team can start the season with 13 guys with a player filling the inactive reserve spot. Carl Hall is fulfilling his contract in Mexico and will join the squad in late November, early December.
Head coach Tim Kendrick told the players they had made the opening night roster at Wednesday’s video session.
“Every time you make a team, doesn't matter if it’s a mini team or a pro team, guys are excited,” he said.
The team has exhibition games tonight and Saturday before starting the regular season on Friday, Nov. 16, by hosting the Cape Breton Highlanders at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre.
The Storm plays Pure Passion Sports, a New Jersey-based squad, tonight at Westisle Composite High School, and Saturday the teams play at Kensington Intermediate Senior High school. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
While winning is always important in team sports, the coaching staff is looking for the players to play hard and execute. It is also hoping to get a sense of what players have on-court chemistry.
“Big picture . . . we want to see combinations of players, how guys play together,” Kendrick said, who is excited with the early returns of training camp.
“I’m very happy with how well we're moving the basketball,” he said. “We have a real good, solid group of guys that understand how we want to play.”
And while some people worry about starting lineups, Kendrick said it is important to have the right five on the floor as opposed to the most talented five.
“It appears that . . . we have a real group of intelligent and unselfish players,” he said. “With our system, we rely on players making decisions, so that’s a very good sign.”
The team’s five Canadians are returnees Brad States and Tyler Scott, who played for Kendrick at UPEI, former Acadia Axemen forward Kyle Arsenault, recent Memorial grad Daniel Gordon and former University of Windsor Lancers guard Alex Campbell.
“We feel like we have five really solid Canadians,” Kendrick said. “For our franchise . . . we think in order to really compete at a high level in the NBL your Canadians have to be able to play.”
A look at the Island Storm’s opening night roster for the 2018-19 season.