(Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – Moncton, NB) The highly anticipated wait is finally coming to an end. The Moncton Magic will be back on the court this week, as the team is set to open its training camp on Friday at Crandall University.
Seventeen hopefuls will be vying for 12 roster spots over the next few weeks in what Head Coach and General Manager of Player Operations Joe Salerno calls one of the most talented training camps he has been a part of.
"We have been extremely busy this off-season," said Salerno. "I am very pleased with the final training camp roster. We have a great mix of proven NBL Canada Veterans, championship experience, and some talented young rookies. It will be a very competitive camp, but I think this is what breeds success. Right out of the gate we are setting a tone, we want guys that are going to compete night in and night out, and this camp should certainly bring that out of our guys."
Only 2 returnees from last year's Magic team will be in camp with the club this season. Sharp-shooting fan favourite Corey Allmond will be back, along with Canadian rookie standout from a year ago Denzell Taylor. Both players played a significant role with the team last season, starting more then half of the team's games in the 2017-18.
Headlining some very big off-season moves were the additions of former NBL Newcomer of the year Jahii Carson, 1st team All-NBL Canada selection Billy White, and back to back NBL Canada Champion Doug Herring.
Carson, who spent the 2016-17 season with Salerno in Charlottetown had a tremendous 1st campaign in the NBL, finishing in the top 5 in the league in both scoring (20.9 ppg) and assists (6.6 apg). The former Arizona State Sun Devil was a two-time Pac-12 All Conference 1st team selection and was named the Pac-12 Rookie of the Year in 2013.
White has been to three straight NBL Canada Finals with the Halifax Hurricanes, winning a championship back in 2015-16. The 6'9", 230 lb power forward has been one of the most dominant big men in the league over the last several seasons, having been named a 1st team League All-star in both 2017 and 2018. Last season he averaged 18.7 points, and 8.3 rebounds per game, while shooting a blistering 59.8% from the floor while in Halifax. White was acquired in trade with the Hurricanes in August for former Moncton Magic guard Terry Thomas.
Herring has been a fixture in the NBL over the past few seasons, most recently helping the London Lightning win back to back league titles in 2017 and 2018. The 6'3" combo guard is coming off a tremendous season for the Lightning which saw him average 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. Herring has also spent time playing professionally in France, the UK, and Uruguay. He, like White was also acquired in a summer trade which saw the Magic send Marvell Waithe the Lightning.
Two other big off-season moves saw the Magic acquire the rights to more proven NBL Canada Talent. On a draft day trade in August, the Magic were able to secure the #1 overall selection and the rights to Power Forward Devontae Pollard by sending the rights to Juan Pattillo to the Sudbury 5. With the first pick in the draft, the Magic selected Toronto native and rookie Shooting Guard Miles Seward. Most recently, the rights to former NBA player Kris Joseph, and former Niagara River Lion Big Man Sam Muldrow were also picked up via a trade with Sudbury for the recently signed Walter Pitchford.
One of the top priorities for the Magic this offseason was to get bigger in the front court. With the addition of two seven-footers in training camp, Zeke Marshall (7'0", 240lbs) and Anthony Allen Jr. (7'0", 235lbs) to go along with 6'10", 265lb center and former NBA player Alexander Johnson, and the 6'9" White, it looks as if Salerno has followed through.
"Getting bigger, longer, and more athletic in our front court was a huge point of emphasis this offseason. There will certainly be more size in camp this year then last, and I think a few of these guys could be really good for us this season," added Salerno.
To add a little more size, the Magic have also signed 6'11", 270lb Canadian Centre Chad Posthumus who is still rehabbing from a surgery over the summer but is expected to be with the team by mid-November.
Hometown fans will have the chance to see the team in action three times in Moncton during the pre-season, as the team will hold an Inter-squad game on November 1st at Crandall University at 7pm, as well as host two exhibition games. Monday, November 5th will see the Cape Breton Highlanders come to town for pre-season action in a game that will also be held at Crandall University. The final pre-season exhibition game for the Magic will take place on November 11th at Harrison Trimble High School at 4pm, when the Magic host their 506 rivals, the Saint John Riptide. Admission to all pre-season games will cost $5.00 and be charged at the door. Proceeds from the games will go to Crandall University and Harrison Trimble High School Athletic programs.
The Magic kick off the 2018-19 NBL Canada regular season on the road, as they travel to face the Halifax Hurricanes on November 15th, at Scotia Bank Centre. The Magic's Home opener at the newly opened Avenir Centre will be held on Saturday, November 17th at 7pm, as they complete their home and home series with the Hurricanes.
Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Subaru of Moncton Box office, located at the Avenir Centre.
For a complete training camp roster, and pre-season schedule see below:
About MONCTON MAGIC Headquartered in Moncton, NB, the MONCTON MAGIC is a professional basketball organization that operates under a licensing agreement with the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC). The team will play its games in a two-conference league with clubs located in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Media Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org