The Halifax Rainmen are feeling the competitive heat from the rest of the Premier Basketball League.
With their players arriving in Halifax on the weekend for next week’s training camp in Yarmouth, Rainmen owner Andre Levingston is looking around the rest of the league and realizing it’s going to be a challenging season.
For example, Puerto Rico, one of the league’s expansion franchises, has signed NBA veteran Bonzi Wells, a 33-year-old with more than 7,000 big-league points.
The collapse of the Continental Basketball Association, meanwhile, has left the PBL and NBA D-League as the only main North American pro basketball options.
“This league is going to be ultra-talented,” Levingston said. “Puerto Rico signing Bonzi Wells is crazy. If you don’t bring your A-game, you’ll get run out of the building.”
The Rainmen, led by star signings Tony Bennett, Jason McLeish, Desmond Ferguson and Eric Crookshank, have nine players under contract heading into camp on Tuesday.
Guard Jerwin Callaway, who inked in early September, is no longer coming because of a passport issue.
They recently added Harlem’s Kendel Provet to their list of tryouts, a group that has swelled to five. Provet, a point guard, is described by Levingston as “a killer” on the New York courts who hasn’t played much organized ball.
They expect to bring in four more players — possibly some late cuts from the D-League — for a total of 18 by the time training begins. The season opens in January.
“One the guys arrive, the buzz really starts,” Levingston said. “It’s a really exciting time for us right now.”