Andre Levingston believes he has put together the best 1-2-3 punch in the Premier Basketball League.
The Halifax Rainmen owner officially announced yesterday the signings of one-time Portland Trailblazer Desmond Ferguson and returning high-scoring guard Tony Bennett. Both signings were first reported by Metro Halifax.
That duo will join point guard Jason McLeish as the Rainmen’s “big three” for the 2010 season.
“Desmond gives us probably the best 1-2-3 in the league with Tony and Jason,” Levingston said. “It’s coming together. We’re getting some really exciting pieces and players who can play the style we want to play, getting it off the glass and up the court, quick guys who can score and defend.”
Ferguson, a 6-foot-7 forward, was a PBL all-star last season with the Rainmen’s Atlantic Division rival, the Manchester Millrats. He averaged 17.0 points per game and was one of the league’s most deadly three-point threats, nailing 71-of-168 from beyond the arc for a 42.2 per cent conversion rate.
“He assassinated us (last year) … Desmond’s been shredding us for two years,” Levingston said. “He’s a guy everybody wants on their basketball team. A guy who hits big shots, hits them when they count, and just a great player.”
The 6-foot-1 Bennett averaged 19.4 points per game in 12 games with the Rainmen last season, leading the team in scoring and finishing 12th in the league. He also placed fourth with 5.5 assists and led the PBL with 3.1 steals.
Bennett had a lucrative contract offer in Belgium but decided to stay in Halifax because of the fans.
“For the most part we thought we lost Tony overseas,” Levingston said. “We were actively looking for his replacement, but we stayed in contract with him and it worked out.”
The Rainmen are also expected to sign returnees Eric Crookshank and John Strickland.
They have also signed Demetrius Howard, Ronnell Jones and Jerwin Callaway. That leaves about five players to bring in, and size is Levingston’s priority.
“We’re getting close,” Levingston said.