Friday, 31 July 2009

More on Brad Smith's U.K. Signing

As reported earlier, Brad Smith has signed to play in England. Even more newsworthy is that Smith was signed to his British league contract by Canadian ex-pat Jesse Sazant, a former Carleton Ravens assistant coach and frequent contributor in the past to CISHOOPS.CA, providing updates on ex-CIS players in Europe. Best of luck Brad; you have come a long way since starting in basketball in Grade 11 playing for Coach Lemmon in Barrie.

Big Canadian expected to make Big Impact

The Medway Park Crusaders Basketball Club is expecting their newly signed Canadian Brad Smith to make a big impact in the England Basketball League. Smith played for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs, where he led them in scoring and was voted a first team All Star in the OAU West Conference his last season.

Western Mustangs has made it to the Canadian University semi finals the last two seasons, both times losing out to the eventual champions, and Crusaders head coach Mads Olesen states this as an important reason why the club signed Smith:

“Brad Smith comes from a winning program, and winning is a habit that’s acquired over time. Brad will come in knowing what it takes to win, and we expect him to be a leader and force his winning habits onto his teammates.”

Smith is a 6’6 post player with a good shooting touch, and he averaged 18 points and seven rebounds last season in 24 minutes per game. He played five seasons for the Mustangs and was selected as a conference All Star his last two years. In 2005-06, Smiths first year, the Mustangs’ finished the season with a 3-19 record. Three years later, their record was reversed to an impressive 19-3 regular season finish this year, including an undefeated record at home in 2009.

Crusaders club president Jesse Sazant also mentions winning habits as a reason for choosing to sign Smith: “We are thrilled with adding Brad to Crusaders for next season. We feel he is the best import we have signed in the club’s history. He is a proven winner and scorer and will have a huge impact on and off the floor with the club. We think he is an ideal fit for our offence and will do big things next season.”

Smith is looking forward to joining Crusaders: “I am very ecstatic and excited about joining Crusaders. It is very flattering to be chosen by Kent, especially being a player from Canada and having a team recognize you all the way in England, is very special. I am very anxious to arrive in September and to help the team in any way that I can.”

Smith will be a coach in the Crusaders’ schools community Hoops 4 Health programme, and will be arriving in Kent for the start of the school year, pending his work permit.

No comments: