Ros­ter re­veal

Is­land Storm sets team for open­ing night

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

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.”

JA­SON MAL­LOY/SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Rus­sell Byrd takes on two de­fend­ers while go­ing for a re­verse layup Tues­day dur­ing the Is­land Storm’s in­trasquad game at Blue­field High School.

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