Story by By Thomas Becker
CHARLOTTETOWN - For the last two seasons, you’ve known him best for his above-the-rim antics. Now for a third year, the Eastlink Centre rims will once again take a beating after the Island Storm agreed to re-sign Brad States.
The Storm had no intention of letting their athletic forward go, as he spent most of the summer on their protected list before a contract was signed. All things considered, his defensive upside and raw athleticism was too attractive to ignore.
“It’s great to have Brad back with us,” said head coach Tim Kendrick. “He can be an exceptional defender at multiple positions and his athleticism makes him a very difficult matchup to contend with.”
After spending the last four seasons on the Island – two with the UPEI Panthers and two with the Storm – States grew accustomed to calling Charlottetown his home.
“The Storm have been very important to me,” States said. “P.E.I. feels like home to me now and I’ve developed some great relationships here. It always gives you a boost when you play for such supportive fans.”
In his second year with the club, the 24-year-old improved upon his rookie campaign, averaging 5.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in 2017-18. This season, he’s hoping to take another step forward in his development, while trying to shed the label as just a slasher.
“I consider myself an energy player that focuses more on defence and team success rather than individual accolades,” he said. “But I’m working on getting better offensively for the upcoming year. I want to be a more consistent shooter and not just a slashing type player.”
It won’t come easy though, as he admits the league is only getting stronger, leaving little room for error.
“In college you could make certain mistakes and recover, but in this league if you make a mistake you’ll pay for it,” the Bathurst, New Brunswick native said. “There’s some great talent in this league and it seems to get better each year.”
Kendrick took notice of the changes his six-foot-seven forward made to his body and is anxious to see how States now stacks up against guys his size, especially in the post.
“He added some muscle in the off-season and he looks great, and he tells me he feels great,” Kendrick said. “So we expect him to come in and have a very good season for us.”
There’s no denying the fact that States has accomplished a lot during his time on the Island. After all, it’s the place where he made a name for himself as an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) all-star and a professional playing the game he loves. But he couldn’t have done it without the die-hard fans who’ve supported him along the way and the opportunities this community presented to him.
“It’s nice to play for people who genuinely want to see you succeed and stick behind you win or lose,” he said. “So it was a no brainer to want and come back here and play for them. Now I want bring a championship to the Island.”