The Halifax Rainmen might not be going to the Premier Basketball League playoffs, but a former fan favourite is.
Kadiri Richard, a popular member of the Rainmen’s inaugural roster in 2007-08, has helped the Wilmington Sea Dawgs qualify for the PBL post-season. The Sea Dawgs edged the Rainmen out for the final wildcard spot yesterday.
Richard, one of the best shot-blockers in minor-league basketball, was released by the Rainmen in the off-season. Despite pleas from a pocket of fans, owner Andre Levingston said he wanted to find a more multi-dimensional replacement.
Richard continues to stay in contact with his former teammates in Halifax, particularly Eric Crookshank.
“We’re best friends,” Crookshank said. “He’s my buddy. We do a lot of trash talking. I wish we could have met up in the wildcard (game). I would have dunked on him.”
Richard averaged 3.1 blocks per game for Halifax last season along with 21.7 minutes, 4.7 points and 5.5 rebounds. This season, Richard is third in the PBL with 2.3 blocks per game and averages 21.9 minutes, 5.9 points and 6.8 rebounds.
Crookshank said having a close friend in the playoffs is the next-best thing to being in the playoffs himself.
“Kadiri told me, 'if we in the playoffs, you in the playoffs,'” the 30-year-old said. “I get excited when he has eight points, seven blocks. It’s like we’re sharing emotions.”