he Saint John Mill Rats had an exciting playoff run in the spring of 2012 but fell short of their goal of a league championship in only their second season of pro basketball in Saint John.
The team hits the Harbour Station hardwood for a third season this winter but with even more competition. This year, the National Basketball League of Canada has expanded by one more team as the Windsor Express join the league from Windsor, Ontario.
The Mill Rats will be lead by new head coach David Cooper, a part owner of the team and will feature familiar faces on the court such as Anthony Anderson, who spent part of the summer running basketball camps for local youths in the Saint John area, and top forward Steve DeLuca.
It will also be an emotional return for Modibo Diarra, a fan-favourite Mill Rats centre who had been trapped in Mali, Africa since the spring after a military coup hit the country while he was visiting his family. A Saint John group led by the Mill Rats organization raised $15,000 in a number of events to cover legal and travel costs for the return of Modibo, his wife and daughter to start a new life in Canada.
The action begins with an exhibition game on October 25th at Harbour Station as the Mill Rats face the Halifax Rainmen.
The Mill Rats’ 40-game regular season begins November 2nd with a road game in Summerside, P.E.I., with the a home game at Harbour Station the next day, November 3 as they face the Kebs de Laval from Laval, Quebec.
See the full schedule at www.millratsbasketball.ca.