SUMMERSIDE - The newest member of the Summerside Storm is no stranger to the Maritimes.
Head coach and vice-president of personnel Joe Salerno announced the signing of six-foot-one and 195-pound guard Eric Gilchrese, 24.
"He's a very quick, very heady combo guard," said Salerno. "Eric is going to be able to play the point (guard) position for us, as well as the small shooting guard. . .
"We're extremely excited to have Eric (signed). He did have some options in other leagues. He's a great guy to have, and he can do a lot of things."
Gilchrese, who is from Springfield, Ill., previously played in the Premier Basketball League (PBL) with the Saint John Mill Rats and Halifax Rainmen.
"I am pretty familiar with that part of Canada," said Gilchrese in a phone interview. "I'm just excited to get back."
In nine games with the Rainmen in 2010, Gilchrese had an 8.8 points-per-game average, a 38.5 field-goal-shooting percentage and an 82.5 free-throw percentage.
In 2011, Gilchrese appeared in six games with the Mill Rats. He averaged 10.7 points per game, had a field-goal percentage of 47.6 per cent and hit 84.2 per cent of his free throws.
Gilchrese was named the 2010 PBL rookie of the year, and also participated in that season's league all-star game.
"I'm excited and ready to get it going. I can't wait to get out to Summerside." Eric Gilchrese
"He's a very efficient scorer," said Salerno. "From what I've seen the past two years, he has one of the higher IQ's playing the point-guard position at this level."
Gilchrese expects to arrive in Summerside in early October. The Storm's regular-season home opener is against the Quebec Kebs on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m.
"I'm excited and ready to get it going," he said. "I can't wait to get out to Summerside."
The Storm's first pre-season game against the Halifax Rainmen will be held at the UPEI Sports Centre on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.
The National Basketball League of Canada originally announced the game would be played Saturday, Oct. 22.
The Storm will also host the Saint John Mill Rats in a pre-season game at EastLink Arena in Summerside on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.
Storm season tickets are now on sale at the Credit Union Place box office.