CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Kemy Osse is adjusting to his first season of professional basketball with the Island Storm.
The National Basketball League of Canada rookie played four seasons with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The Montreal native left home when he was 15 to attend Archbishop Carroll in Washington, D.C., for three seasons before heading to Arkansas.
Osse said the college and pro games are different with one of the biggest changes being going from a 30-second shot clock to 24.
“I feel like the game is more controlled in college whereas here it’s a lot of one-on-one, pick ‘n’ roll, it's a little faster,” he said before Thursday’s practice. “I’d rather this style. I like playing fast. I like being free and I think at the pro level they let you do that.”
Osse has primarily been the backup point guard for the Storm this season, but he has been inserted into the starting lineup recently with floor general Andre Stringer injured.
“I really want him to be back soon,” Osse said. “That’s my guy and I want to see him doing good, too.”
Even when he has not been playing, Stringer has been a key member of the Storm. He was vocal from the bench in Sunday’s overtime loss and was often sharing his wisdom with his teammates.
“He’s like another coach,” Osse said. “He has experience. He’s played at a high level, so he knows the game. He teaches me a lot.”
Osse has played both backcourt positions throughout his career, but played more off the ball in college because of his shooting ability. His shot hasn’t been dropping lately.
“It’s the first time really in my career that's happening. I’m still adjusting, and at the same time I enjoy those moments because I feel like I’m going to breakthrough soon,” he said, noting his confidence remains high.
“If I’m open, I’m still going to shoot. Coach has confidence in me. He tells me to shoot it,” Osse added. “I’m not going to lose confidence in myself. I know I can make shots.”
Osse said the Storm showed a lot of interest in him, and he made a connection with assistant coach Jeff Morrison, making coming east feel like the right decision.
Head coach Tim Kendrick said there’s a lot to like about Osse’s game.
“I like how physical he is at the point guard spot. I think he is really learning well how we want to play,” he said. “I see things every day where I’m thinking, ‘there, he’s got that now’.”
Kendrick said eventually he could see Osse even getting minutes at the three.
“He is very strong,” the bench boss said. “We have no problem with Kemy guarding guys bigger than his stature.”
Kendrick said the team loves all its Canadians and hopes to be able to keep them with the franchise for several years.
The Storm (8-9) looks to snap its five-game losing streak tonight when it hosts the defending champion London Lightning (13-5), which has won 11 straight games.
“We’re not playing any slouches,” Kendrick said.
The Lightning signed and activated former national team point guard Junior Cadougan on Tuesday. The team also has forward Royce White, who leads the league in scoring at 25.4 points per game. He was a first-round pick (16th overall) of the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 2012.