CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Island Storm believes it has found the inside presence it has been looking for.
The Storm announced the addition of Travis Elliott, a six-foot-eight, 255-pound centre from Florida, on Tuesday. He was expected to arrive late Tuesday night and be ready to play Friday in Sydney, N.S., against the Cape Breton Highlanders.
“He’s a big body,” Storm head coach Tim Kendrick said. “He comes with a good reputation of being a real good rebounder, an interior defender and also as a guy who will do the grunt work.”
The 26-year-old pivot has played a couple of seasons pro after two years at Bethune-Cookman, an NCAA Division 1 school in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Elliott replaces Marcus Bell, who left the team last week to play pro in Mexico, but where he fits in the team’s rotation will be determined.
“We’re bringing him in because we want him to play,” Kendrick said.
“For us, it’s important to try and get a guy in who understands how to play within the team concept but also is going to do the dirty work (and) somebody who is going to stay on the court without fouls.”
Centre Meshack Lufile sustained a sprained ankle three minutes into Saturday’s loss to the Windsor Express and is expected to be out at least two weeks. The recent acquisition came down on someone’s foot while going for a defensive rebound. X-rays showed there was no fracture on the foot and the team placed him on injured reserve on Tuesday.
Kendrick acknowledged the tough time the team has had with its centres since the beginning of the season, but he’s looking for Elliott to provide stability for the team at the position.
“We’re hoping we’re getting a guy right now that's going to be able to stay with us and really provide us what we need,” he said, which is an interior defensive presence and a rebounder.
The Storm is hosting its fourth annual teachers appreciation game on Sunday at 2 p.m. when it hosts the Saint John Riptide.
Anyone who works in public or private schools on P.E.I. (kindergarten to Grade 12) will receive one free adult bowl ticket to the game. The tickets can be picked up in person at the Eastlink Centre box office during their regular weekday hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The box office will open on Sunday at 11 a.m.
The free tickets are limited to one per person, but one person can pick up multiple tickets if they have more than one ID card.