Three games were long enough for Tommy Mitchell to stay sidelined with a nagging Achilles heel injury.
The Halifax Rainmen guard made his season debut on Saturday night and â€” despite playing through aches and pains that won’t go away â€” paced his club with 19 points in a 115-83 blowout victory over the Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions before a season-high crowd of 3,202 at the Metro Centre.
“By the grace of God I made it through,” Mitchell said afterward. “It felt really good to be back on the floor with my teammates. These guys have worked extremely hard and it’s really good to be back fighting with them.”
The Rainmen brought in the six-foot-three Mitchell in an effort to compete for a Premier Basketball League championship.
As evidenced by Saturday’s 19-point outing that helped improve the Rainmen’s record to 3-1, second in the PBL, Mitchell’s well-rounded skill set along with his work ethic and veteran savvy make him a dangerous offensive threat.
Rainmen owner Andre Levingston calls him “a quiet storm.”
“The kid doesn’t miss (many shots),” he said. “He practises hard, does his job, hits big shots, runs the floor and you can tell he spends a lot of time in the gym. He’s a pro.”
Since Mitchell’s NCAA Division I career at Siena College ended in 2005, the 28-year-old from Los Angeles has bounced around the pros and earned a handful of tryouts and workouts with NBA teams. He’s hoping to keep his big-league dream alive in Halifax.
“I’m still trying to achieve it, I’m still talking to (NBA) teams that have interest,” he said. “The thing is, you’ve got to learn how to be a winner and if you’re a winner, people will look at you. That’s why I’m here.”
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