The Halifax Rainmen began pouring the foundation for their 2010 roster with a pair of signings on Thursday.

The Rainmen inked small forward Demetrius Howard and shooting guard Jerwin Callaway, moves owner Andre Levingston called a prelude to larger announcements next week.

Howard already has experience in the Premier Basketball League, having averaged 18.8 points and 5.6 rebounds with the Augusta Groove last season. Callaway played in the NAIA with Robert Morris, averaging 8.0 points per game.

Both players project to come off the bench for the Rainmen.

“Demetrius can score, he can shoot the basketball really well and he can put the ball on the floor and do some special things,” Levingston said. “With Jerwin, you thought (former Rainmen) Brian Silverhorn could shoot the basketball? This kid can shoot the basketball from anywhere on the floor.”

Levingston is working on landing a trio of core all-stars in the mould of the Boston Celtics’ Big Three in 2008. He and head coach Les Berry are headed to New York City on Friday and are holding their own tryout combine.

More than 20 players are expected to attend, including a few flown in from as far as Texas and California.

“Hopefully we can leave there with almost a complete roster,” Levingston said. “We should be close.”

Levingston has said he will bring back power forward Eric Crookshank and post player John Strickland. Point guard Jimmy Twyman is another possible returnee. He also said he still has “a shot” at star guard Tony Bennett, back because a contract in Belgium has not yet materialized.

The Rainmen, who went 12-8 last season and missed the playoffs, open the 2010 PBL season in January.