There are five Albany Patroons alumni in Canada this year…

Point of disclosure.  I have worked with the National Basketball League of Canada since 2011, and am currently working with them for the 2018-19 season.

Point of disclosure.  I work with the Albany Patroons of the newly-organized TBL, and will be working with the Pats for the 2018-19 season.

So as a fan of the Patroons, it always brings a smile to my face when I see former stars of the gold and kelly green playing in the True North strong and free.

And this year, as the NBL announces their Opening Day rosters as their season begins this Friday, the Albany Patroons Alumni Association will feature five former Patroons players on four different NBL Canada squads.

Let’s start with Xavier Moon, who last year electrified the Patroons and earned Rookie of the Year honors.  He is now on the lineup for the London (Ont.) Lightning, a team that won four of the NBL’s past seven playoff championships.

Joining Xavier Moon will be Marvin Phillips, who played for the Patroons in the 2006-07 CBA season.  Phillips has been a Lightning star for several seasons, and this year he transitions to being a player/assistant coach.  Wow.

Another veteran Patroon, Gabe Freeman (he was on the Pats’ 2008-09 squad) will start for the St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador) Edge.  Gabe has achieved plenty of success in the NBL; he was the league’s Most Valuable Player in the 2011-12 season.

Remember DeAndre Thomas?  The big center who muscled his way in the post – well, he’s returning to the Windsor (Ont.) Express, where he earned a championship ring in 2014.

And Nick Evans, who was drafted by the Patroons in the 2017-18 entry draft, and who played for Albany for a few games, will bring his talents to Moncton, New Brunswick, as a member of the Moncton Magic.

I should note that the Patroons have also enjoyed the talents of former NBL Canada stars; near the end of the 2017-18 season, former NBL Canada playoff MVP Stefan Bonneau helped Albany in a major playoff battle victory against the Ohio Bootleggers.

In case you hadn’t guessed … I’m getting ready for basketball seasons.

Yes, I said seasons.