The Halifax Rainmen are encouraging their players to head to the International Basketball League, and two more have followed the lead of star forward Eric Crookshank.

Crookshank signed with the Edmonton Chill last week, while 7-foot-3 centre James Tyler and smooth-shooting guard Akeem Clark joined IBL teams this week.

Tyler has signed with the Elkhart Express, while Clark is joining the Gary Steelheads. It’s believed Brian Silverhorn — who trailed only Crookshank in points per game this season — is close to signing with the Steelheads, as well.

“It’s a way to stay in shape and get some additional income, because, you know, they don’t make a whole lot of money,” Rainmen owner Andre Levingston said. “And we encourage it. We want them to get as much experience as they can. We don’t need ’em sitting at home on the couch.”
Tyler and Clark were late-season acquisitions.

Tyler averaged 5.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in six games, while Clark nailed 55.6 per cent of his three-pointers and averaged 12.5 points.

Tyler joins one of the IBL’s best teams. The Express went 23-4 last season and won the 2006 and 2007 league titles.

The IBL is a spring/summer league that wraps up its schedule in late June. That means star players such as Crookshank and Silverhorn could end up back in Rainmen jerseys in the fall, depending on what league the team lands in.

The Rainmen dropped out of the ABA in March and are seeking entry into the NBA D-League.

The Premier Basketball League and Continental Basketball Association are other options.

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