Mariners basketball team looking for gold at CAF Regionals
By Ryan Melanson,
After a dominant streak from 2011-2014 that saw the CFB Halifax Mariners take home four consecutive national titles, the men’s basketball team has fallen short for the last three years. They’re looking to return to winning ways however, and that begins on February 21 when the CAF Regional Basketball Championship kicks off in Halifax.
“On paper we have a great roster and we can really compete and have a chance to win,” said returning team coach and PSP Fitness and Sports Coordinator Kevin Miller. The possible issue involves timing – with some players recently returning from deployment and others away on course or due to other factors, practice time has been very limited in the weeks leading up to regionals. Miller said he expects both Gagetown and 14 Wing Greenwood to bring strong rosters to Halifax for the tournament, and that a gold medal at the regional level is far from guaranteed, even if Halifax has taken it each year for more than a decade.
Returning for this year are standout players from previous seasons like Lt(N) Cody Brown, MS Mike Stainton, Capt Nic Leger, LS Stephen Awalt, and Pte Jonathan Ryer, but the full squad will have barely two weeks to practice, play a few city-league games and try to come together as a group.
“We’ll take take the two weeks we have and up the intensity and hopefully we can get everyone on the same page,” Miller said.
And as the men’s tournament takes place at STADPLEX, a women’s Regional Development Camp will take place alongside it for the third year in a row. Hosted by the Dockyard Gym, the camp will see female members from across the region work with Capt Russ Payne, Acadia Coach Kevin Duffie and MSVU Coach Mark Forward for three days to further develop their skills. The hope is to build up to a full regional and national tournaments for CAF women’s basketball in the coming years.