On the court, Desmond Ferguson is well-known as one of pro basketball’s deadliest three-point shooters whose smooth stroke once landed him a gig in the NBA.

Off the court, he’s a budding entrepreneur who is responsible for the Halifax Rainmen’s newest jerseys.

Ferguson, who is expected to become the first former NBA player to suit up for the Rainmen, has a full-time job running an athletic apparel company called Moneyball Sportswear.

“I started this business from scratch seven years ago,” said Ferguson, a Lansing, Mich., native who was given the nickname Moneyball by NBA star Kevin Garnett more than a decade ago. “I’m the sole owner. This is what I do.”

The 6-foot-7 small forward played seven games with the Portland Trailblazers in 2003-04 after completing a bachelors degree in business at University of Detroit-Mercy.

Since those days, Moneyball has grown steadily and supplies jerseys to about 100 high schools in the United States, mostly in Michigan. Canada is a new market.

Although his head office is in Lansing, Ferguson will operate from his apartment in Halifax for the next four months. He said life has been a whirlwind preparing for the Rainmen’s training camp, which opens today in Yarmouth.

“I work out in the morning, office all day, get another workout in the evening, then do it all over again,” said Ferguson, who drained a half-dozen shots from 18 feet and beyond during yesterday’s 30-minute scrimmage at Citadel High.

The 32-year-old averaged 17 points per game with the rival Manchester Millrats last season and has hit more than 45 per cent from beyond the arc the past three years.

He went to the Premier Basketball League semifinals with the Millrats, but signed with the Rainmen because he was impressed by the big crowds at the Metro Centre.

“I came here to win and win a championship,” he said. “I didn’t come here just to shoot threes and win a couple of games. I’m coming here to try and win the whole thing.”

 
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