Franklin Session’s last-second dagger

Let me start off by saying that I work with the National Basketball League of Canada as their director of statistics and player clearances.  Essentially that’s the nuts and bolts of what a sports league does.  A player needs statistics, it’s like his personal resume of skill.

For Franklin Session, this resume has a nice little highlight to it, courtesy of yesterday afternoon.

Watch and see.

Continue reading “Franklin Session’s last-second dagger”

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NBL Canada Season 7 Starts Saturday!

Seven years ago, I joined up with a brand new professional basketball league.  I provided stats and other duties for this nascent hoops circuit, and I haven’t looked back since.

And that’s a good thing.

This Saturday, the National Basketball League of Canada commences its seventh season with a league-high ten teams – four in Ontario, five in the Maritimes, and a new franchise in Newfoundland.

This will be fun.

Continue reading “NBL Canada Season 7 Starts Saturday!”

A new adventure for a former Albany Patroon

For the past six seasons, I’ve operated as the statistician with the National Basketball League of Canada.  For the last four of those seasons, I’ve worked in one capacity or another with David Magley, a member of the 1983-84 Albany Patroons championship squad.  Two of those years were when Magley coached the Brampton (Ontario) A’s, then two years were when Magley operated as commissioner of the NBL.

Continue reading “A new adventure for a former Albany Patroon”

Get an Albany Patroon to run your sports league

I have never shied away from my love for the long-departed Albany Patroons basketball team.  Two championships, five regular-season titles, and a slew of NBA players and coaches came from our little Continental Basketball Association team.

And today I want to take a moment and salute one of those former Patroons and his successful involvement with another pro basketball circuit.

David Magley played for the Albany Patroons during their 1983-84 championship year.  The 6’8″ small forward from Kansas spent a few weeks with the Cleveland Cavaliers organization prior to his Patroons run, then he moved on to the coaching ranks.

Continue reading “Get an Albany Patroon to run your sports league”

Royce White: Breaking through anxiety like a bolt of lightning

If you’re a pro basketball fan, you might have heard of Royce White.  He was drafted in 2012 out of Iowa State by the Houston Rockets (first round, 16th overall), who hoped that the 6’8″ power forward with gigantic hands would help build the team for years to come.

Unfortunately, Royce White was dealing with issues that were stronger than battling to the paint.  He suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.  And one of those disorders was a fear of flying.  The Rockets put White on their D-League team in Rio Grande Valley, then traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers.  He then bounced to the Sacramento Kings, where he split time between their D-League franchise in Reno and three games with the big club.

And now… Royce White wants to prove that he does have the talent to make it back to the NBA, and that he can use his skillsets to work past the mental handcuffs that plagued his adult career.

Last week, Royce White signed a contract to play for the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada.  He also founded the online support group Anxious Minds, which offers frank and open discussions about the battles of mental health, anxiety disorders and clinical depression.  Rather than being a victim, Royce White now wants to be an advocate.

Which, in itself, is amazing.  Rather than saying his NBA career is impossible, Royce White wants to show it can be possible.

In the NBL, White will play in a highly competitive ten-team league.  The other four teams in the Central Division are all Ontario-based franchises and are easily accessible by bus or car.  As for the games in the Maritimes – well, that will be an issue for future discussing and addressing.

But for now, the only time Royce White should be concerned about flying … is when he’s heading to the hoop for a two-handed jam.

FTC BLOG DISCLOSURE: Although I am associated with the National Basketball League of Canada as their statistician and director of player clearances, at no time was I approached by any NBL-C team owner, coach or employee to compose this piece on Royce White.  This article was composed to show that the path to professional basketball is a long and arduous journey, and that there are no easy paths to achieve your dream.

NBL Canada begins its sixth season

Six years ago, three men – Vincent Bernier, Ian McCarthy and Andre Levingston – broke their teams away from the independent Premier Basketball League and formed a new professional basketball circuit, the National Basketball League of Canada.  I joined up with them for the 2011-12 season, and have remained with the NBL even after those three men left the league to pursue other interests.

And this year begins the sixth season of independent professional hoops for this league.  Or as I refer to it, “my mistress for the next six months of my life.”

Actually, considering my relationship status right now – or lack thereof – that’s not a bad thing.

For the first time in league history, the NBL will sport ten teams – five in Ontario (the London Lightning, Windsor Express, Niagara River Lions, Orangeville A’s and the new Kitchener-Waterloo Titans), and five in the Atlantic Maritimes (Halifax Hurricanes, Island Storm, Moncton Miracles, the new Saint John Riptide, and the new Cape Breton Highlanders).  Ten teams, each playing a 40-game season, with the top four teams in each division moving to the playoffs.

And the league has received growth and respect in the basketball world.  Maurice Bolden, who played three seasons in the NBL for the London Lightning and Windsor Express, was recently selected in the first round (18th overall) by the NBA D-League’s San Antonio Spurs affiliate in Austin.

And with the season starting less than two months from now, I have to get my prepwork done.  Statistics must be maintained.  Player clearances must be achieved.  High speed internet connection must be maintained, as all the NBL Canada games are streamed worldwide on YouTube.  Awesome stuff.

And then there’s the personal matters.  Such as, are there any teams that have a lineage with the Albany Patroons?

Well, the league’s commissioner, David Magley, played on Phil Jackson’s championship squad in 1983-84; and the Saint John Riptide’s Gabe Freeman was a member of Albany’s last squad in 2008-09.  So there’s that.

This year, ten teams will begin “The Pursuit,” as the NBL’s sixth season hashtag #thepursuit makes clear.  Check out this video and see what I mean.

This becomes my calming point.  In this measure, ten teams and ten dozen players and ten coaches and ten general managers and a commissioner and a director of league operations all count on me.

I won’t let them down.

See, while other teams are focusing on #thepursuit of a championship…

I’m focusing on #thepursuit of a successful NBL Canada season.

This is how I roll.  Trust me.  I couldn’t shoot a free throw to save my life.  But I can damn well make sure I have the statistical averages and free throw percentages for every player in this league.

It’s also nice to know that people and organizations can count on me.  You know – just get the damn job done.

In the end… that’s all that matters.

Now of course I know I have many blog readers who couldn’t give two rebounds about basketball, let alone basketball in Canada.

That’s fine.  There’s a bunch of other blog posts you can read, maybe I’ll post one today or tomorrow or two weeks from Friday.

And I apologize for being selfish on this front …

But at least if I can at least achieve success in this front …

Then all is good for me.