Eric Appears at NDP Campaign Event

Under the category of “hey, what are they doing this summer?” Eric appeared at an NDP campaign event in Sackville yesterday.  Stories and pictures in The Herald and The Metro.

Darrell and his wife Kelly have season tickets in section 22 and Darrell plays both noon hoops and in the over 50 league when he has time.

My favourite part:  Eric making fun of Darrell’s free throw shooting.

Rainmen Have a Busy Summer

Looks like it’ll be a busy summer for the Rainmen:

RAINMEN RELEASE SUMMER PROGRAM SCHEDULE

(Halifax, N.S.) The Halifax Rainmen has released its summer programming schedule that includes three 5-day skills camps for kids and youth, and three, 3-on-3 tournaments. The schedule kicks off on June 29th with a skills camp in Truro.

“We wanted to take our camp outside Halifax this year to give kids in another part of the province a chance to train with the Rainmen,” said Team Owner Andre Levingston.

The camps are headed by Rainmen Head Coach Les Berry and the team’s 2 Assistants Coaches, Shannon Hanson and Jeff Paris. Rainmen Power Forward Eric Crookshank has also joined the coaching staff for the summer camps.

“Any excuse I can find to stay in Halifax, I am going to do. I love it here,” said Crookshank.

The camps will be held in Truro at the NSCC, in Eastern Passage at the Tallahassee Recreation Centre and at Citadel Community Centre in Halifax. All camps are slated for July. On the weekend following each camp, the Rainmen will host a 3-on-3 tournament open to the public.

“We are challenging every street team, every company, really anyone who likes a little friendly competition to come out and register for these tournaments. Come show us what you got Halifax,” says Levingston.

Winners of the 3-on-3 will receive season tickets to next year’s Rainmen games at the Halifax Metro Centre. All camp and 3-on-3 registration information is now on the Rainmen website www.rainmenbasketball.ca.

Since the NBA 3on3 tournament stops at Moncton I think the 3 on 3 tournaments are a fun idea, but I think the most interesting thing is that Les Berry is running the camps.  I don’t want to read too much into it, but you’d think he wouldn’t have time to be running summer camps if he was back at his regular job.

Eric, Twyman, Strick Go Winless in Black Basketball Tournament

The annual black basketball tournament happened last week and due to some pretty terrible PR work and a never updated website no one really knew it was happening.  Only three teams played in the A-division this year, but shockingly a team which included Eric Crookshank, Jimmy Twyman and Strick managed to go winless and finish at the bottom of the heap.  I couldn’t make it out to any games because of work, which is sort of unfortunate.

Despite being a smaller field than in previous years the tournament actually included a few players I think the Rainmen should be seriously looking at: Sheron Edwards (former all-Canadian with UPEI), Garry Gallimore (the former X player who was recently at the centre of a silly controversy as an assistant coach), and Tyler Richardson (star guard for the X men).

Season Will Be 20 Games Next Year

The spring PBL owners meeting happened this week and the Metro interviewed Andre to get some details.
The big thing to note is the season will be 20 games again next year.  Andre and the organization are looking at adding two MetroCentre home games.

Other things that I’ve heard are that Montreal, Mid-Michigan, Chicago and Augusta are out for next year.

Rainmen Back in PBL, Looking to Hire Out of Town Sales Manager

Two stories popped up this week after a long lull in Rainmen media coverage.

First, we have confirmation that the Rainmen will be back in the PBL next year but will be paying even more of their opponents travel.  I understand the logic of the Rainmen paying a bit more for travel but I just think it’s instituted unfairly and unevenly – did Augusta or Wilmington pay extra for travel for their home and away games?  If Battle Creek are isolated in the mid-West will they be out of the travel pool?  The fairer system in my mind would be for each team to recieve a set amount of money for travel, and teams in the outskirts of the footprint subsidize the remainder of the travel costs caused by their geographic location.  Oh well, at least we know Halifax are back in the league next year.

The second piece of news was in today’s Chronicle Herald.  Andre Levingston is recruiting a sales manager from Toronto who has worked with Maple Leaf Entertainment and the Argos, a man named Kevin Matchett.  I think this is a fantastic move, and one that is absolutely neccassary.  They need dedicated and experienced sales staff, both to make sales and to train additional sales staff.  Jad, Andre and Nancy can’t be doing group sales – they have other roles and other skills.  The Rainmen simply have sold as many group and season ticket packages as they can sell on word of mouth, now they need more a aggressive sales strategy.  My one concern is that it seems a bit odd that Matchett is mentioned by name since it’s still in negotiations.

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