NBL Canada Gets Rolling with Draft

“With the first selection in the NBL Canada draft, the Oshawa Power are proud to select Morgan Lewis”

And with words to that effect, the NBL took it s first steps into the future.

The League held its inaugural draft Sunday evening at the Roger’s Centre in Toronto. After two days of workouts at the NBL Combine the pool of players was narrowed down and ready to be dispersed amongst the seven franchises.

Jerome Brown was the first Canadian player taken in the draft, going to the Saint John Sea Dogs fifth overall, while the Quebec Kebs selected another Canuck product, Tristan Martin, seventh overall. The Mill Rats and Kebs deemed the Brown and Martin to valauble to wait until the Canadian-only portion of the draft. Here’s the round up of the first round:

Halifax Rainmen First Round NBL draft pick Danny Friend

Rainmen First Round pick Danny Friend (#21)

1. Oshawa – Morgan Lewis, 6’4″ 210 lbs, University of Findlay
2. Summerside – Justin Garris, 6’3″ 200 lbs, Ashland U/NJIT
3. London – Tryone Levett, 6’5″ 220 lbs, Alabama State
4. Moncton – Darrell Wonge, 6-7 215 lbs, Winston-Salem State
5. Saint John – Jerome Brown , 6’4″ 205 lbs, Panloa College
6. Halifax – Danny Friend, 6’7″ 215 lbs, Limestone College
7. Quebec – Tristan Martin , 6’3″ 192 lbs, University of Houston

Toronto’s Kevin Francis was the first pick in the Canadian-only round of the draft going to the Oshawa Power. The Canadian-only portion ofthe draft ended up causing some problems for the Halifax Rainmen.

After selecting 6’7” Danny Friend out of Limestone College with the sixth overall selection, the Rainmen added a 6’4″ guard from Toronto Papa Oppong (Eastern Kentucky University) with their first Canadian-only pick.

In the third round (again Canadian-only) the Rainmen took Jerrell Thompson out of Sacred Heart University. Thompson, however as it was later found, is not from Canada. Thompson registered and is listed with “Canada” as country of residence, despite listing, correctly I might add, Plainfield, New Jersey as his hometown. Thompson’s official draft selection will be void, but he will still be invited to Rainmen training camp.

“The overwhelming response from American players filled the available registration spots so quickly, that we later found out they were registering as Canadians to ensure they had a slot reserved at the combine,” said Rainmen Prsident & CEO Andre Levingston. “The NBL Canada is already working on tightening this process to ensure it does not happen in the future.”

Friend, Oppong, and Thonpson will report to Rainmen training camp in October. Levingston says there are additional Canadian players who will be invited to camp.

The Rainmen will begin their 2011-12 season on Saturday November 5, 2011 at the Halifax Metro Centre when they face off against Coach Michael Ray Richardson and his London Lightning.

Moncton Gets Name

The Moncton franchise is apparently set to hold a press conference on Tuesday to announce its team name and colour. Word is the team will be the Moncton Miracles, apparently after the city’s ability to rebound from the recession of the 80s.

Gotta say, I am not overly impressed with the choice of name. It might have been slightly better had they not pluralized it and just called them the “Moncton Miracle”. Frankly it seems like it is more sutied to a WNBA franchise. Low and behold that used to be a WNBA franchise known as the Orlando Miracle.

Next, we shall wait and see what the Summerside franchise choose as its name. Hopefully it will be better than Miracle.

Perhaps it will grow on me, or maybe the logo and colours will win me over, but…

What would you liek to see the Summerside Team called? Islanders is one of those obvious team names, but let’s try and pick something creative.


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