The St. John's Edge will hold a training camp for their upcoming 2018-19 season in Grand Falls-Windsor this November, the team announced Monday.
The team's visit from November 3-9, which will include an intersquad game on November 8, is a great opportunity to promote not just the brand of St. John's Edge but the sport of basketball to a wider audience, said star player and interim general manager Carl English.
"I look at these things as they're great for the organization, they're great for the community," said English, who also formally re-signed with the team for the upcoming season at the media event in St. John's.
"For us to go out there and be in their backyard will touch a lot of kids and a lot of people in that area."
While in Grand Falls-Windsor, the team will train at Exploits Valley High, with off-court training at the YMCA Exploits Valley, said Devon O'Grady, the director of operations for St. John's Edge.
The public will be able to purchase tickets for the intersquad game, and there will be an autograph session afterward.
Team bonding experience
English said the trip to Central Newfoundland will be a great experience for the team as it heads into its second season, giving them the chance to spend an extended amount of time together.
"These are the type of things that bond you to your teammates so that when playoff time comes around you know each other inside and out," said English, who is originally from Newfoundland.
Not only a playoff appearance, but a championship, is what English has his sights set on for the upcoming year.
"I really want to win a championship," he said. "I'm not guaranteeing one but I'm going to do everything I can to make that a reality."
A big win for the team would not only be great for local fans and the team itself, but also to grow the profile of basketball beyond Canada's big centres, English said.
Some of the new players on board for the Edge may help them make that happen, including Maurice Jones and former NBA player Satnam Singh, who is 7' 2".
When asked about how Singh would find the beds at Riverfront Chalets, where the team will stay while in Grand Falls-Windsor, English said he was sure it wasn't the first time Singh might find a bed a bit small for his frame.
"I tell you what, he can curl up just like a lot of us can curl up."
English hopes players like Singh, and any upcoming acquisitions the team is working on ahead of the season opener in November, will find a supportive and welcoming environment in St. John's.
The fans, and the people, and the sponsors, they've really gotten behind the team. - Carl English
"The fans, and the people, and the sponsors, they've really gotten behind the team," he said, adding that players from other teams have commented on the "amazing atmosphere" at Mile One when they've played the Edge.
English hopes that local excitement around the team might help the Edge sign a few more key players as it gets closer to the start of the season. He served as an interim general manager for the team in the off season, in what he describes as a primarily consultancy role.
The team had a solid rookie season, making it to the divisional championship. But it's the general atmosphere around the team, not just the past performance, that will help them sign the right players, English said.
"St. John's, and Mile One, the arena, the fans, the support helps out a lot more than the performance at the end of the day," he said.
"They want to be respected when they play, they want to be taken care of as a player, and we're trying to do that here."