Skyforce Players Will Get Ultimate Check Ride before Official Flight
NBADL camps are open with the regular season starting in less than two weeks. The maximum allowed 17 players will battle for a chance to defend the title.
There are four distinct groups of players that will be on hand at the start of training camp and at first glance they are a pretty talented bunch. Five players were added via the NBADL Draft on Sunday, October 31. Others were released by the Miami Heat during preseason.
Another group was part of last year’s record-setting season, plus a few long shots for good measure. With new coaches but the same Heat system in place, time will tell how the group will gel.
We start with the familiar faces who are returning to the ‘Force. Briante Weber got called up by the Miami Heat near the close of last season, but was let go as one of the last cuts before the regular season began. He is slated to begin his second season in Sioux Falls.
Jabril Trawick will also saddle up for a second tour, coming off the bench for most of the championship season before solidifying a starting spot in the playoffs. Keith Benson for a second straight year spent time with the Heat in the preseason and will suit up in Sioux Falls. Bubu Palo rounds out the returners as he will be in his third Skyforce year.
Four affiliate players will have Miami connections as they appeared with the Heat in the preseason, but were left off the regular season roster. All four have significant size in common.
Rookie forwards Vashil Fernandez (6-10, Valparaiso) and Stafan Jankovic (6-11, Hawaii) both bring unique skill sets with their size with shot-blocking and outside shooting respectively. Meanwhile Okaro White (6-8, Florida State) and Luis Montero (6-7, Westchester Community College) both have a couple pro seasons on their ledgers. In fact, Montero was with in The Association last year with Portland.
Five arrive courtesy of the NBADL Draft headlined by four rookies starting with first rounder Ike Nwamu (6-5, UNLV), then Marcus Posley (6-1, St. Bonaventure) in the second round, the only non-rookie DeAndre Mathieu (5-9, Minnesota) with their third pick, Ryan Bowie (6-1, UT-San Antonio) in the fourth and Aly Ahmed (6-9, CSU-Bakersfield) from round five.
The last four came to an open tryout either in Sioux Falls or Miami and earned an invitation to camp. Guards Cameron Bell (6-3, Florida International), Craig Brown (6-5 Kent State), Brandan Kearney (6-6, Detroit Mercy) and Eric Weary (6-4, Houston) will come with a chip on their shoulder to prove they belong.
Their mission is to be a part of the opening day roster of ten active players plus two potential inactive spots available. The NBADL Championship banner will be raised on Saturday November 12 against the Salt Lake City Stars at the Sanford Pentagon.