He’s nicknamed Skyscraper — and for good reason.

Newly acquired centre Shagari Alleyne has arrived and yesterday was on hand at a morning press conference for the Halifax Rainmen, where it was announced the Premier Basketball League team will be shown live for six games this season on EastLink TV.

At seven-foot-three, Alleyne is a towering individual — and clearly stood out amongst those gathered at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

But the question remains whether he can stand out on the court for Halifax. For his part, the 25-year-old feels he has the skill and game to be an impact player here.

“I run the floor pretty well — I score. I block shots and rebound” said Alleyne, who is from the Bronx, N.Y, and is in Halifax for the first time. “I do what a centre is supposed to do.”

Alleyne was signed by the Rainmen on Tuesday after failing to stick with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA’s Development League. Alleyne, who played NCAA Division 1 basketball for the University of Kentucky, is the second of two big men signed this week by Halifax.

On Monday, the Rainmen inked six-foot-11 centre Mark McCarroll, who has played professionally with several teams in Europe.

McCarroll and Alleyne should fight it out for the starting centre position in training camp — competition Alleyne welcomes.

“Every basketball player wants to be a starter — but if you come off the bench, that’s good as well,” said Alleyne, who wears a size 22 shoe and has an eight-foot wingspan.

“But I feel I can contribute heavily to this team.”

Alleyne played last season with the Harlem Globetrotters, and the year before tried out for the Philadelphia 76ers. He didn’t make the NBA club.

Rainmen on TV

The Halifax Rainmen and EastLink TV announced a six-game partnership for the 2009-10 Premier Basketball League season that sees one pre-season and five regular season games shown live. The exhibition game is Dec. 19 against the Manchester Millrats. The first regular season broadcast is the club’s home opener against the Quebec Kebs on Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. All regular season broadcasts will be on Sundays.

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