It’s NBL Canada / TBL All-Star Weekend!

First things first. My new-to-me 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier (“Lightning’s Girl”) did quite well on its first truly extended road trip. A straight shot from Albany to Syracuse, with a pitstop in Clinton for a couple of photographs that may show up in a future blog post.

So here I am in Syracuse. The National Basketball League of Canada is partnering with The Basketball League (TBL) for a joint All-Star weekend. This will be the TBL’s first All-Star exhibition; it will be the NBL’s fourth, but the first one they’ve had since 2014.

The plan for me – do my job there, help out whenever possible, and relax when I can.

Friday featured a skills competition, which included Albany Patroons shooting guard and might I say clearly TBL MVP AJ Mosby. Mosby participated in the 3-point shooting contest, and did okay for himself – his three-pointers are normally step back and shoot, not grab the ball out of the rack and shoot, so he didn’t make it past the first round. But he did get some interview time with the NBL television network, so there’s that.

Then came the dunk competition, and although there were no Patroons in the dunk competition, I did take some time to try a little photo-stitching experiment. Holding my camera as still as I could (forgot the damn tripod mount for the Nikon Df), I captured some of the dunkers as they came in and threw down. For example, say hi to Zena Edosomwan of the Sudbury Five.

I took a whole bunch of dunking shots, so this one is my “dunk to beat” after I go through the rest of the photos.

Oh yeah, I took some shots with the Google Pixel 6 Pro camera, mostly super-slow-mo photos. Like this one of Richard McCallop of the TBL’s Reading Rebels had a dunk-contest-winning over-the-top slam.

Yeah, I had a basketball player land in my lap while I was filming that shot. Thankfully, that player wasn’t Dennis Rodman, and I didn’t get a kick in my nuts for my proximity.

Saturday evening was the big game. And don’t let the TBL’s 155-150 win over the NBL fool you. There was a ton of defense in this game. And shout-out to AJ Mosby, he became the first TBL player, and the first in the TBL-NBL Canada All-Star Game partnership, to register a triple-double in the All-Star Game, Mosby finished with 13 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He should have won the All-Star Game MVP, but for some reason this kid from Toledo Glass City, Chris Darrington, dropped 35 points on 13-for-18 shooting, with 7 3-pointers. Oh, and Patroons head coach Will Brown was the TBL’s All-Star Game winning coach. Not bad when you’re extending the Patroons’ 17-game undefeated home streak on the road. 😀

Then came the halftime festivities, and NBL Canada commissioner and all-around good guy Audley Stephenson handed out some awards to various NBL Canada staff and broadcasters who attended the game.

And then he called my name.

And when I got there … he handed me a plaque, commemorating ten seasons as the NBL’s League Statistician, Director of Player Clearances, and every other duty needed or requested.

You say you never see me smile in a photograph?

So my sincere thanks to all the organizations involved this weekend – the National Basketball League of Canada, the TBL, All-Star Game sponsor Nave Law Firm of Syracuse, all the staff with the TBL and NBL who worked together for this event, and of course the players and coaches who put together an exciting and entertaining All-Star Game weekend.

Oh and I don’t use this hashtag very often, so when I do, you know it’s important.