CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – There’s a Storm a’ coming.
The Island Storm blows through the Eastlink Centre tonight to open its National Basketball League season against the expansion St. John’s Edge. Game time is 7 p.m.
“We’re super excited for that game,” guard Franklin Session said. “Coach (Tim Kendrick), actually, is more excited than anybody I’ve ever seen. That's going to rub off on the rest of us.”
The Storm played one intrasquad game at Colonel Gray High School and one exhibition game in Cape Breton, N.S. This will be the first opportunity for most Islanders too see the new-look squad.
Kendrick is in his first year as bench boss after Joe Salerno, the only coach in franchise history, was not brought back. His assistants are Jeff Morrison and Lonnie States.
Brad States played 40 games with the Storm in his rookie pro season a year ago. Wayne McCullogh played 15 games before being released. They are the only two holdovers on the roster.
Kendrick said he is pleased with how the players have meshed.
“They’re a diversified group that come from all over, but they really already seem to be buying into the culture of what we’re trying to do here,” he said. “I couldn't be happier with the guys we have.”
Session said it is a very friendly group of guys.
“It’s just like we’ve all been here for a whole year, two years already.”
And now they get to perform under the bright lights of the Eastlink Centre.
“This is something everyone is extremely ready for,” Session said.
Need to know
National Basketball League of Canada
Format – There are 10 teams divided into two divisions. The Atlantic includes the Island Storm, Moncton Magic, Saint John Riptide, Halifax Hurricanes and Cape Breton Highlanders. The Central is comprised of the London Lightning, Windsor Express, Niagara River Lions, Kitchener Waterloo Titans and the expansion St. John’s Edge. The Edge is in the Central Division this season to balance the teams. Each team plays a 40-game schedule running from today to April 2. The Lightning is the defending champion.
Looking back – A look back at the Island Storm’s past records.
Season W L Pct. Playoffs
2016-17 16 24 .400 Lost in semifinal
2015-16 14 26 . 350 Lost in quarter-final
2014-15 19 13 .594 Lost in semifinal
2013-14 22 18 .550 Lost in final
2012-13 26 14 .650 Lost in final
2011-12 12 24 .333 DNQ