The season opens Saturday, but St. John’s Edge coach Jeff Dunlap expects his team’s newest signing to be ready to go for the start of the 2017-18 National Basketball League of Canada campaign.
As first reported on www.thetelegram.com, the Edge officially signed local product Carl English to a contract Wednesday morning at the Swilers Rugby Complex.
While the signing of the 36-year-old Patrick’s Cove product – undoubtedly the finest basketball player this province has ever produced – puts a well-known local face to the franchise, and will no doubt spark a bump in ticket sales, first and foremost English promises to have an impact on the court.
His signing has been anticipated since the NBL Canada approved an expansion franchise for St. John’s this past summer. The club was looking to make a basketball footprint on a landscape that had been dominated by hockey, and English was by far the province’s biggest name in the sport.
A star at the University of Hawaii, English is a veteran of Canada’s national team, competing in a trio of FIBA Americans Championships.
He has professionally in Europe for over a decade, in countries such as Croatia, Spain and Greece.
His also played some in the NBA G-League.
Now, as his playing career winds down, English cites the chance to play in his home province in front of friends and family – especially his three children – as the primary reason for signing with the Edge.
The team plays its first-ever game Saturday in Charlottetown, P.E.I., against the Island Storm.
St. John’s first home game at Mile One Centre is on Dec. 1 against the Niagara River Lions.