The Island Storm has announced the addition of Josiah Turner, a former member of the Storm, along with the signing of two other new players.
Turner, a college standout with Arizona and former starting point guard for the Storm, will join the team for its upcoming trip to Ontario.
“Josiah is one of the most gifted players I have had the opportunity to be around,” said Storm coach Joe Salerno. “He has the ability to make everyone around him better, which is something that we need right now.”
The Island has also signed Tirrell Baines and George Beaman, who are expected to be active for a matchup against the Express in Windsor on Friday.
Turner, a 6-foot-3 point guard, joins the Storm after two seasons playing with the Los Angeles Lakers D-league affiliate, the D-Fenders.
“Being one of the top ranked PG’s in the country (Turner) coming out of high school, he helped lead us to our first NBL Finals appearance in 2012-2013 when he was only 20 years old. He is now 23.”
Baines comes in already with NBL of Canada experience as a member of the Ottawa Skyhawks. The 6-foot-6 forward out of Marshall University also spent time with the D-League’s Erie Bay Hawks, averaging 15.4 points and six rebounds one season.
Beamon has several D-League stops including with the Oklahoma City Blue and the Texas Legends. The 6-foot-4 guard spent his collegiate career at Manhattan, where he averaged just under 20 points per contest in his senior year.
The Storm has announced Mike Martin, Gary Gibson, Andre Malone, Anthony Simpson, and Raheem Singleton have all been released.
The team has lacked offensive production this season, scoring 102.1 points per game, the lowest point totals in the conference.
After 12 games the team is sitting at a 4-8 record, and Salerno said changes were necessary.
“We have really struggled scoring the ball over the past 4-6 games. This is something that our franchise has never had issues with, so it was fairly clear we needed to bring in some more offensive talent that will fit in with the systems we have run that have shown success over the past several seasons.”
The Storm re-signed Martin in the offseason hoping he would be an impact player for the team, but over the past six games he’s averaged just below seven points per contest.
“Players are brought here, given a role and have certain expectations. That role needs to be filled, and those expectations need to be met,” said Salerno.
Simpson and Singleton’s stint with the team was a short one, but Gibson has been with the club since training camp. Multiple ankle injuries would have impacted his ability to play for the foreseeable future.
“Our organization has a track record of winning,” said owner Duncan Shaw. “That comes from holding everyone in the organization accountable for our performance. The players we released were great young men who will continue their careers elsewhere. We appreciate their work with us, but our performance this year was not to our standards so changes had to be made. We’ve made changes, and will continue to focus on making our team better every day.”
The Storm is back home on Feb. 4 to host the Moncton Miracles at Eastlink Centre for the first time this season. Tip-off is 7 p.m.