‘ We are full steam ahead’
Despite Halifax Rainmen bankruptcy, plans for Sydney NBL of Canada franchise still a go: Levingston
Tyrone Levingston says despite the news the Halifax Rainmen filed for bankruptcy on Monday, his plans to bring a National Basketball League of Canada franchise to Sydney haven’t changed.
“We are full steam ahead with what we’re trying to do in Sydney,” said Levingston, son of Halifax franchise owner Andre Levingston. “It definitely doesn’t affect what we’re trying to do.”
NBL of Canada commissioner David Magley recently toured Centre 200. Tyrone Levingston confirmed he’ll be putting in his application to the league in the next week or so for a Sydney team.
The proposed franchise has already received the backing of local businessman Parker Rudderham. Tyrone Levingston said there are others local business people close to being added to the ownership group.
“The commissioner made a statement (Monday) that there will be a team in Halifax. I think there will be restructuring and getting new ownership in place,” he said. “I believe there will be a team in Halifax, so we may still have that rivalry.”
The Rainmen filed for bankruptcy Monday morning, according to a news release issued later in the day by a local PR firm, which told the Metro newspaper in Halifax that franchise owner Andre Levingston wasn’t available for media interviews on the matter.
But Andre Levingston, who helped get the NBL of Canada franchise off the ground, did state in the release that he is “incredibly proud of what the Halifax Rainmen have accomplished over the past eight years.”
During the 2014-15 season, the Rainmen made it to the NBL of Canada’s championship series, despite financial strain and the fact that coaching staff and players decided not to show up for the seventh and final game, citing safety concerns on and off the court.
Calls to legal firm Grant Thornton, which is acting as trustee for the bankruptcy claim, also went unreturned Monday.
“We heard rumours about money getting tight,” point guard Cliff Clinkscales said Monday. “But we didn’t know how true it was.”
The $90,000 worth of fines incurred by coaches, players and the club itself “for conduct detrimental to the league” during the championship fiasco didn’t help finances.
Magley said in Monday’s news release that he is “personally confident that there will be an NBLC team in the great city of Halifax and that a team will play (next) season.”
Tyrone Levingston, who is working to get a National Basketball League of Canada franchise in Sydney, says the Halifax Rainmen bankruptcy reported Monday won’t change his plans.