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For the St. John's Edge, Grand Falls-Windsor will be basketball central in November

In this Nov., 2017 file photo, Jarryn Skeete (left) moves the ball downcourt while being guarded by Rashaun Broadus during a St. John’s Edge pre-season intra-squad game at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. The Edge will be holding another intrasquad game as part of their preseason preparations this fall, but this time it will be in Grand Falls-Windsor. That’s because the team has announced it will be holding its 2018 training camp in the central Newfoundland town. — File/St. John's Edge
In this Nov., 2017 file photo, Jarryn Skeete (left) moves the ball downcourt while being guarded by Rashaun Broadus during a St. John’s Edge pre-season intra-squad game at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. The Edge will be holding another intrasquad game as part of their preseason preparations this fall, but this time it will be in Grand Falls-Windsor. That’s because the team has announced it will be holding its 2018 training camp in the central Newfoundland town. — File/St. John's Edge - Contributed

National Basketball League of Canada team holding its training camp in town

The Edge is moving towards the centre.

The centre of Newfoundland that is.

The National Basketball League of Canada’s St. John’s Edge will be holding its 2018 training camp in Grand Falls-Windsor, fulfilling the team’s expressed desire to have more a presence outside of the metro region.

“There were a lot of moving parts, but it came together great,” said Edge star guard and interim general manager Carl English after Monday’s announcement that the Nov. 3-9 training camp will be based out of Exploits Valley High School.

English said the camp will have benefits besides marketing the Edge outside of St. John’s.

“They’re great for the community (there), because it’s difficult to come four of five hours to see (an Edge game in St. John’s), on a nightly basis,” he said.

“And it’s a great team bonding time. You’re all staying together, bunking up, eating together. It’s a very important part of chemistry.

“These are the type of things that bond you to your teammates so that when playoff time comes around you know each other inside and out,"

The team will do off-court training at the Exploits Valley YMCA,  make school visits, conduct basketball camps and host a fan meet-and-greet Nov. 7 at the local golf club. As well, there will be a Nov. 8 intersquad game followed by an autograph session. Tickets for the latter (prices to be determined) will be made available through the Town of Grand Falls -Windsor.

English said that the original hope was for the Edge to hold an NBL Canada pre-season game as part of the training camp, but that logistical considerations, many involving the need to provide a league-approved court, made that too difficult.

“’We wanted to host a game, bring in a team,” he said. “But we didn’t want to travel with our floor (from Mile One Centre) because if you damage that, what do you do? And those rims are almost $20,000 a rim, so how do you travel with them”

Nevertheless, English sees nothing but positives in the team’s temporary relocation to the central part of the province. For example, items autographed by Edge players and memorabilia provided by the club will be used to raise money for local charities. As well, the town will be provided a thousand tickets to one Edge 2018-19 regular-season game at Mile One.

More than anything, suggested, there will be the contact with folks the Edge might not normally get to see face to face.

"For us to go out there and be in their backyard will touch a lot of kids and a lot of people in that area,” he said.

brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @telybrendan

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