Look­ing for a last-minute Edge

NBL Canada ex­pan­sion team ex­pected to an­nounce sign­ing of Carl English

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - SPORTS - sports@thetele­gram.com

It couldn’t ex­actly be de­scribed as a buzzer-beater of a move, but it def­i­nitely is com­ing late in the game.

None of the prin­ci­pals would con­firm it of­fi­cially, but the St. John’s Edge are ex­pected to re­veal to­day they have signed New­found­land bas­ket­ball star Carl English.

The Edge, who be­gin their in­au­gu­ral Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League of Canada sea­son in a mat­ter of days, have called a press con­fer­ence this morn­ing at the Swilers Club­house in St. John’s to — as out­lined in a Tues­day re­lease from the team — “make an an­nounce­ment.”

That was it, other than the added note that there would be “se­lect player and coach­ing staff” avail­abil­ity.

As for English, when reached shortly after the Edge news re­lease about the Swilers get­to­gether, the 36-year-old Pa­trick’s Cove na­tive didn’t of­fer comment other than to say that he would “touch base with you to­mor­row morn­ing.”

That’s when you can look for of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion of his hook­ing up with what amounts to a home­town team.

English’s sign­ing has been an­tic­i­pated since NBL Canada ap­proved an ex­pan­sion fran­chise for St. John’s this past sum­mer. The club was look­ing to make a bas­ket­ball foot­print on a land­scape that had been dom­i­nated by hockey and English was by far the province’s big­gest name in the sport. And while the for­mer U.S. col­lege star and Cana­dian na­tional team guard has carved out a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in Europe — he has played pro­fes­sion­ally over­seas for more than a decade — English has ac­knowl­edged his play­ing ca­reer has reached what could be de­scribed the wan­ing stages. In ad­di­tion, he cited a lean to­wards fam­ily con­sid­er­a­tions; he and his wife, who is also from New­found­land, have three young chil­dren, two of them school-aged.

But de­spite the mu­tual in­ter­est be­tween team and player, and what seemed out­wardly to be a log­i­cal link­ing — a “no­brainer,” was a com­mon de­scrip­tion — dis­cus­sion and con­tem­pla­tion stretched for weeks out as the team and player looked to de­ter­mine how English could fit into the team’s pay­roll struc­ture and as to what ex­actly his role with the Edge would be.

English has rou­tinely drawn six-fig­ure an­nual salaries in Euro­pean leagues and the Edge’s pay­roll for an en­tire sea­son is just $170,000 for a 12-player ros­ter.

How­ever, it has been sug­gested that hur­dle could at least be re­duced in size by hav­ing English take on other du­ties with the or­ga­ni­za­tion, per­haps with re­gards to coach­ing, man­age­ment and/or com­mu­nity re­la­tions.

Just how that is­sue was ad­dressed should be among the rev­e­la­tions made this morn­ing.

The an­nounce­ment comes at the tail end of the Edge’s train­ing camp (ros­ter cuts have al­ready be­gun) and only three days be­fore the team plays its first-ever game Satur­day in Char­lot­te­town, P.E.I., against the Is­land Storm.

St. John’s first home game at Mile One Cen­tre is on Dec. 1 against the Ni­a­gara River Li­ons.

FILE/CANA­DIAN OLYMPIC COM­MIT­TEE

What would the St. John’s Edge be get­ting with Carl English (8), be­sides his be­ing New­found­land’s best-know bas­ket­ball player? The Pa­trick’s Cove na­tive brings a hoops ré­sumé that has seen him play pro­fes­sion­ally for over a dozen years and a lengthy ca­reer with Cana­dian na­tional teams, in­clud­ing this game against Mex­ico.

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