Playing professional basketball sounds like a dream job to many, but what many fail to realize is the commitment required and the demands of balancing both the action on the court and family could sometimes proof challenging and forcing players to ultimately deciding between the two.
The highest-paid NBA stars make more in one quarter — yes, that’s 12 minutes — than many NBLC players will make this year by working two jobs.
Players in the Canadian loop earn an average of $3,000 a month from November into April in a league whose teams operate with a $150,000 salary cap. Most will try to pad their income by landing another gig in a spring-summer league once the NBLC season ends.
That makes it tough to fly their family in for a visit or get home themselves if there’s a rare break in their schedule.
London Lightning guard Charles Boozer lives in his famous brother’s shadow
If you know anything about London Lightning guard Charles Boozer, it’s likely that he’s the younger brother of Carlos, the former NBA All-Star, Olympic gold medalist and Duke standout.
Carlos, by far the more famous of the two, played more than 800 NBA games with Cleveland, Utah, Chicago and the L.A. Lakers before retiring in 2015.
The younger Boozer showed flashes of promise in college at Iowa State, but suffered an ACL tear as a junior in 2010 and has bounced around minor leagues since then.
“He’s a combo guard who can set up his teammates and score,” his Carlos told the Chicago Tribune in 2014, when Charles played with the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G League.
“He’s a great defender, very athletic. And he has great wisdom.”
Now with London, at age 32, Charles will have what may be his final attempt at a sustainable pro career.
He was selected third overall in the 2018 National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC)’s Cape Breton Highlanders but reportedly pulled a muscle in the first week of training camp and was subsequently cut.
“We couldn’t see much of him, but he’s a great player,” Highlanders coach Bernardo Fitz-Gonzales told the Cape Breton Post at the time.
London coach Doug Plumb, a former star guard at the University of British Columbia, said the younger Boozer is now in the best shape of his life.
“Charles has worked extremely hard this off-season,” Plumb said in a statement.“He is a bigger powerful guard, can guard multiple positions on the court and has a versatile skill set.
“I’m looking forward to seeing his off-season work translate to the court and bring fire and tenacity every day.”
London has won four championships since the NBLC launched eight years ago, but exited in the first round of the playoffs last season.
They’ll rely in part on guard Xavier Moon, 2019 Player of the Year with the Edmonton Stingers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League, to help them return to form.
As he always has, Charles Boozer will try to make his mark while answering questions about his more famous older brother.
“I’m excited to put on the Lightning uniform and help elevate the tradition of excellence,” he said in a statement. “It’s going to be a special season.”
Carl English amazing 58-point effort sets NBL Canada scoring record
The return of long time fan favorite Carl English to Canada was definitely a moment not to be slept on.
English whose story is well chronicled has had an outstanding 15-year professional career across the top international leagues. A veteran member of Canada Senior Men’s National Team he decided to bring it full circle and concluded his storied career in his hometown province of St. Johns, Newfoundland.
When news broke that he was returning home it also meant that those same East Coast supporters who grew-up watching a young skinny grade ten kid would also get another opportunity to watch him once again showcase his game. English went from dropping 50-point games in high school to becoming only the third player from Newfoundland to play division one NCAA basketball.
On Saturday night, against the visiting Kitchen Waterloo Titans and with March Madness in full swing, the now 37 year-old English, delighted the fans once more with an incredible 58-point career-high performance to set the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) scoring record. English connected on 17-of-33 shots, 13/14 free-throws and nailed an incredible 11-of-20 three-point attempts in 127-117 win at Mile One Centre.
The previous record was held by Moncton’s Devin Sweetney in 2013 against the defunct Montreal Jazz.
English currently leads the NBLC in scoring in scoring at 25 points per game, shooting 44% from the floor and 38.5 from the outside, he also averages 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and has the St. John Edge eyeing a deep playoff run and potential championship.
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