The Summerside Storm started off a stretch of five straight road games on a winning note Saturday night. The Storm outscored the Moncton Miracles 103-94 at the Moncton Coliseum to improve to 3-0 (won-lost) in the young National Basketball League of Canada regular season. The Miracles, who won 90-86 over the Halifax Rainmen on Sunday afternoon, are 2-1. Its always tough to get a road win, said Storm centre Ayodokun Akingbade on Sunday. We have a tough stretch next weekend on the road, back-to-back-to-back, so we need all our guys to dial in, focus in and come out with three wins. Akingbade was referring to three games in less than 72 hours in Ontario for the Storm. Summerside visits the expansion Windsor Express on Friday night, the Oshawa Power on Saturday evening and returns to Windsor for a matinee on Sunday. The Storm will close out the five-game road stretch in Moncton on Thursday, Nov. 22, and will host the Miracles in the back end of a home-and-home series the following night, Friday, Nov. 23, at Eastlink Arena. A key factor to the Storms victory against Moncton, said Akingbade, was the contributions from the bench. Eleven of the 12 Storm players listed on the game sheet contributed at least two points. We kind of started off slow, assessed Akingbade. The bench was a huge factor. We needed those guys to really step up after playing the night before (at home against Saint John). Its tough to come out with a lot of energy in back-to-back (games) the second night. Everybody contributed, and we were able to pull out a win. Avery Smith (6'4''-G-86, agency: Veracity Sports, LLC, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) poured in a game-high 20 points to spark the Storm attack while Chris Cayole (6'7''-F-85, college: St.Michael's) (16) and Greg Plummer (14) rounded out the top-three scorers. Al Stewart (5'10''-PG-83, college: Drake) chipped in with 13. Antonio Ballard (6'4''-G/F, college: Miami, OH) led the Storm with 11 rebounds. For Moncton, Darrell Wonge (6'7''-F-86, agency: Veracity Sports, LLC, college: Winston Salem) and Devin Sweetney (6'6''-G/F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: St.Francis, PA) led the way with 19 points each. Tyrone Levett had 16. The Miracles led 21-19 after the first quarter, but the Storm outscored their hosts 27-22 in the second period to take a 46-43 lead into halftime. The Storm then built a 73-63 lead after three quarters. We knew Moncton was going to come out very aggressive, and they were very physical, said Akingbade. We were able to dominate both ends of the court and come out with the win. Courtesy of: journalpioneer.com
London Lightning face new rival as NBL Canada announces an expansion franchise in Waterloo Region - 14 days ago
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A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional dom... [read more]
A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional domestic basketball league. The Waterloo Region team will be the fifth team in the Central Division, with London the natural rival. 'The Knights and Rangers have sold out every game for the last 20 years, there is no reason to believe the Lightning (versus the new team) won't do the same,' said NBL Canada commissioner Dave Magley . Rounding out the conference are teams in Windsor, Orangeville and Niagara. There are also five teams in the Atlantic Division in Saint John, P.E.I, Halifax and a team pending in Cape Breton. London Lightning owner Vito Frijia said the expansion team is important for the league and sees them as being 'a really successful franchise.' 'From London's and the league's perspective, KW is a great market for basketball and all of sports. It's centrally located to existing franchises . . . the ownership group is well financed, they have a good community and a lot of integrity,' he said. 'All the right ingredients are in place to make it a fantastic franchise.' One of the majority shareholders Cameron Ball, vice-president of Ball Construction, said he and his partners were approached a few months ago by the YMCA who thought Ball Construction would be a good fit to bring the team to the community. He said after they were introduced to Magley Ball and partners, Ball Construction president Jason Ball and Frank Schneider, CFO, went to a London Lightening game and were inspired to bring the same atmosphere to Waterloo. 'We were so impressed with the calibre of basketball and the fan experience, it looked like a good family atmosphere and an experience we think would be great for our region as well,' said Cameron Ball. The ownership group also includes minority shareholders Brian Foster and Jeff Berg, owners of Innofost Canada and Leon Martin, an entrepreneur from Elmira, Ont. Basketball in Canada is booming, with the likes of Toronto Raptors' Cory Joseph, former first-round draft pick Andrew Wiggins and Pan Am bronze-medallist Kia Nurse finding success and making headlines. But perhaps the most influential story line for the budding basketball market is that of Kitchener-native Jamal Murray, who was just drafted seventh overall in the NBA draft after a successful rookie season at the University of Kentucky. 'The junior programs in KW are really big and competitive. Jamal was just drafted and he is a great young man. All of that is consistent with where we are going with the league,' said Magley. 'Basketball is on another level right now, it's the greatest participation sport in Canada, more so than hockey.' The league said that with the recent success and growth in popularity of Canadian basketball, the timing is perfect for the league to capture the wave of fan support for the sport. 'I have always said basketball is poetry in motion,' said Frijia, who said the success of the Lightning has poached some Londoners from making the trek to Toronto for Raptors games. 'It is a fantastic game to present to fans because they are a lot closer to the action.' Because of all the aforementioned reasons, Ball said he believes the franchise will draw a large fan base and that they will work towards building a championship calibre team. 'We hope to field a competitive team and try to emulate the experience we saw in London, we will compete on floor, have a great family experience for the games and we hope to win a championship as soon as possible,' he said. 'Our region is a big sports minded region, we have tremendous support for the Rangers . . . and there is a lot of interest in basketball.' Magley said all the pieces to building the team are lining up nicely, starting with a naming contest going on right now where fans can suggest names for the new team, the winners will receive two free season tickets. Next, Magely said they hope to have a head coach named in August along with a Canadian only draft to start signing players. Currently there a multiple venue options, with the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium being a natural front runner as the home of the Rangers, but Magley said the venue has yet to be made official. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
Express submit six-man protected list for 2016-17 NBL of Canada season - 18 days ago
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League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18 [read more]
League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game, guard Tony Bennett, forward Maurice Bolden and Canadian forward Shaquille Keith and Canadian centre Rudolphe Joly. 'Commons and Robinson are arguably in the top 10 that ever played in the league,' Express head coach and vice-president of basketball operations Bill Jones said Thursday. 'Bennett brings experience and we have younger players with Bolden, Keith and Joly. 'If those six did come back, you've got a good base and you can build around them.' The 31-year-old Bennett said he didn't need to be placed on a protected list to ensure he would return to Windsor next season. 'Definitely an honour to be on the protected list, but I feel like it's a waste of a protection because I ain't going nowhere and Bill and Dartis (Willis, the Express president and CEO) know that,' Bennett said. 'I've told them that the last two years, but they're hard-headed.' After watching Kevin Durant bolt from Oklahoma City to Golden State and Dwayne Wade from Miami to Chicago, Jones is taking no chances. 'You have to protect yourself,' Jones said. 'You hear and understand (what Bennett said), but end of day it is a business and he was one of our best six players.' Jones also plans to keep in touch with a couple of former players. Quinnel Brown, who played in Uruguay, and DeAndre Thomas, who missed last year with a knee injury, who will help, along with Robinson, at the team's youth camps. Spots are still available for the three camps, which are open to players age eight to 15, and will be held July 11-15, July 18-22 and Aug. 8-12. 'It's an opportunity for our coaching staff and some of our players to come back and give back to the community,' Jones said. 'Canadian basketball is starting to flourish and a lot of young kids at that age really like the sport.' Two members of his coaching staff will attend the camp with bigger roles as Scott Newman and Aaron McDonald have been promoted to associate coach. Meanwhile, Tony Jones, who finished the season as associate head coach and served as head coach while Bill Jones sat out a 20-game suspension, will not return to the team. The former NCAA assistant coach is pursuing other opportunities. Newman is currently running the club's entry in the Global Basketball Summer League in Las Vegas. Jones will attend combines in Indiana, Flint, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Atlanta looking for players to get the Express back on top of the league after the club saw its two-year title run end this year. 'The league is getting better, so you have to get better players,' Jones said. 'We have to have hungry players that understand the culture of the Windsor Express.' Courtesy of: windsorstar.com
Finals MVP: Justin Johnson (6'2''-G-88) of Halifax H.; Player of the Year: Logan Stutz (6'9''-F-88) of Niagara RL; Guard of the Year: Justin Johnson (6'2''-G-88) of Halifax H.; Forward of the Year: Stephen Maxwell (6'7''-F-93) of London L.; Center of the Year: Nick Evans (6'11''-C-88) of London L.; Rookie of the Year: Stephen Maxwell (6'7''-F-93) of London L.; Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Stover (6'10''-C-90) of St.John M.R.; Domestic Player of the Year: [read more]
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