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Storm makes move inside as team is set for opening night

Centre Zack Valliere goes in for a slam during training camp with the Island Storm. Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Centre Zack Valliere goes in for a slam during training camp with the Island Storm. Jason Malloy/The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Island Storm made a final move before setting its opening night roster.

The Storm announced the signing of Zack Valliere on Thursday while saying centre Nick Evans was no longer with the team.

The Storm selected Valliere, a six-foot-10 centre, second overall in this year’s draft, but released him after he sustained a sprained ankle in camp. The ankle has been cleared, and the pivot was expected to be in town Thursday night, practise with the team today and be available for Saturday’s first game of the National Basketball League of Canada season.

“We really liked Zach right from the combine,” head coach Tim Kendrick said after Thursday’s practice. “He’s going to be familiar with many of our guys and what we’re trying to do . . .

“He’ll be a quality big for us and really help our depth at that position.”

Kendrick wouldn't say if Evans was released or left the team.

“Nick is pursuing other opportunities,” he said.

It was Evans’ third tour of duty with the Storm.

The Storm was outrebounded in its only exhibition game Sunday in Cape Breton.

The Storm trailed by 22 in the third quarter, but fought back to tie it in the final minute. Kendrick credited the second group of Kemy Osse, Tyler Scott, Brad States, Torrence Dyck Jr. and Du’Vaughn Maxwell for playing strong and with energy to help spur the comeback.

“Fast, but not rushing,” he said, in describing the unit’s play. “They ran our offence very well.”

The Storm has finalized its 12-man roster for the season with former Holland College Hurricanes forward Trenity Burdine starting the year on inactive reserve.

“If someone goes down with a sprained ankle and will be out 10 days, we can put that player on inactive, bring Trenity up and fill that spot right away,” Kendrick explained.

The Storm opens the regular season Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre against the expansion St. John’s Edge.

“We’re hoping that the place is packed and it’s a charged atmosphere to give us a real boost,” Kendrick said.

Making the roster

A look at the Island Storm’s opening night roster with their jersey numbers.

Guards

6 Franklin Session

10 Andre Stringer

1 Chris Johnson

22 Wayne McCullough

5 Kemy Osse

2 Tyler Scott

Forwards

13 Du’Vaughn Maxwell

7 Brad States

11 Torrence Dyck Jr.

15 Dut Dut

Centre

24 Asauhn Dixton-Tatum

50 Zack Valliere

Inactive reserve

3 Trenity Burdine

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