John Strickland has a new team for the summer, but he’ll be back with the Halifax Rainmen next season.
The 6-foot-8 fan-favourite forward hit the hardwood at the Metro Centre yesterday afternoon as a member of 94INC, a touring street-ball team he signed with last month.
Strickland said he has unfinished business in Halifax after the Rainmen missed the playoffs in March.
“I was gonna retire, but me and (owner) Mr. (Andre) Levingston talked. We thought we’d give it another year,” Strickland said. “To be honest with you, I didn’t like the note we went out on last year, so I’m going to try and bring a championship to Canada and Halifax and ride out into the sunset.”
Levingston confirmed Strickland would return, but said Strickland hasn’t officially been signed to a contract.
Strickland, who signed midway through last season and averaged 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds, has lost 20 pounds in the summer and admitted he was out of shape last season.
“Sometimes my mind thought I could do things but my body said no,” he said. “Now, my body’s with my mind.”
Earlier in the week, Strickland served as a Rainmen scout at a Premier Basketball League combine in Chicago.
About 800 fans took in yesterday’s game as 94INC beat a pickup team featuring Rainmen forward Eric Crookshank 108-91. Crookshank had 28 points and St. Francis Xavier X-Men star Christian Upshaw added 18 more.
Levingston said he is keeping a close eye on two players on the pickup squad — former X-Men guard Tyler Richards and former Dalhousie Tigers guard Devon Norris.