SUMMERSIDE – People may remember the television commercial a few years ago that used to say, “When E. F. Hutton speaks, people listen.”
That might best describe the most recent signing by Summerside Storm co-owners Duncan Shaw and Darren MacKay, along with head coach Joe Salerno.
Six-foot-10 centre Ayodokun Akingbade, or “Doak” to his coaches and teammates, brings a great deal of experience to the Storm for the upcoming National Basketball League of Canada season.
Akingbade, out of George Washington University, has played around the world, including some of the top leagues in Europe, where he averaged a season double-double with a Swedish team scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
“Doak fills a hole missing from our team last season,” said Salerno. “He is an experienced veteran and a team leader, who could very well be the top centre in the league this year.
“When he speaks, players listen and he can bring a calming presence to tense game situations.”
Meanwhile, Akingbade is enjoying Prince Edward Island and Summerside.
“I like the breeze here, and people have been very nice and welcoming,” he says. “The team looks pretty good so far, and the guys are great.
“I’m looking forward to a good year for the team.”
When asked about what he thinks he can bring to the team, Akingbade feels his strengths are rebounding on defence, protecting the basket and providing lots of energy, leadership and experience.
Fans will have their first opportunity to see Akingbade and the rest of the Storm hopefuls during the team’s intra-squad game at Westisle Composite High School in Elmsdale on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“Doak fills a hole missing from our team last season. He is an experienced veteran and a team leader, who could very well be the top centre in the league this year. When he speaks, players listen and he can bring a calming presence to tense game situations.” Storm head coach Joe Salerno
All proceeds from this game stay with the Westisle Athletic Council. The Storm will have a slam-dunk contest at halftime.
The Storm also announced they will be playing a second intra-squad game in Charlottetown at the University of Prince Edward Island on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The UPEI Panther basketball teams will host this game, with all proceeds from this game staying with the Panthers.
Tickets for the Rogers Slam Dunk Charity Game against the Moncton Miracles at Eastlink Arena on Oct. 26 will also be available at the UPEI game, with all proceeds from those ticket sales going back to the Panthers.
This will be the Storm’s only home exhibition game. Tickets for this game are now on sale at Superstores across P.E.I., with all proceeds from Superstore sales going to P.E.I. Boys and Girls Clubs.
Bloomfield Elementary School is selling tickets for the Rogers Slam Dunk Charity Game in the western part of Prince Edward Island. The school, which is fundraising for new playground equipment, will keep all ticket sales for this project.
Tickets are also being sold at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, with proceeds from those sales staying with the school.
The Storm’s first regular-season home game is against the Saint John Mill Rats on Friday, Nov. 2.