All Aboard The A-Train

Header-K-Elliott(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor-Essex basketball fans have much to be excited about as the Windsor Express prepare to tip-off their home opener at the WFCU Arena, tonight at 7:00pm. The team is getting back to work in pursuit of the 2016-17 National Basketball League of Canada title.

Billed as the, “… most talented team roster, the Express have ever fielded,” according to team owner Dartis Willis, the Express will seek to redeem themselves from the 105-93 season opening loss to the Orangeville A’s last night.

The talent-rich roster is a virtual mixed bag of past meets present. Namely, the Express are returning three former players; Express champion power forward Quinnel Brown (Auburn), guard Darren Duncan (Merrimack), and center Nick Evans (Southern Illinois).

Brown was  not only a key player for Express in the back to back Championships in 2014 and 2015, he was also the  NBL player of the year in 2014 and WESPY Award winner in the basketball category.

Express Clash II Brown

Quinnel Brown rolls the ball toward the basket during Clash at the Colloseum II in 2014.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Although Duncan was not the MVP of the regular season, but was definitely a play-off MVP candidate in 2014 as he lead the Express to their first NBL crown.

“Its awesome. As soon as I came back the organization gave me a big warm embrace,” Duncan said when asked how it felt to be back with the Express. “It was like coming back to my second home. Windsor’s always been a special place to me and I am very excited to be back.”

As for the much improved 6’ 11” Evans, he had a great two-way showing in the loss to the A’s while scoring 24 points and tearing down 13 boards as the Express player of the game.

Newcomers, and former OUA cross-town rivals, Warren Ward (Carleton) and Clinton Springer-Williams (Ottawa) supported Evans with nineteen and eighteen points respectively.

The pair of natives from London are two of the requisite four Canadians on the thirteen man roster. Noel Moffatt (Memorial) and former Windsor Lancer stand-out Alex Campbell round out the Canadian contingent on the team.

Alex Campbell was a 1st Team All-Star in the OUA with the Windsor Lancers.<br>Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Alex Campbell was a 1st Team All-Star in the OUA with the Windsor Lancers.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Neither Moffatt nor Campbell saw much action in the season opener, but Windsor b-ball fans will be eager to see how Campbell adjusts his amateur game, from that of a 1st team OUA All-star to that of a professional basketball rookie.

It’s notable that both the women’s and men’s basketball teams from the University of Windsor will be playing against their OUA West counterparts from Wilfred Laurier in regular season games at Caesars Windsor, on February 8, 2017, during the 4th annual Clash at the Colosseum, hosted by the Windsor Express.

The Lancers squads will play at 3:00pm and 5:00pm, respectively, before the Express jump it up against the NBL expansion Kitchener-Waterloo Titans, during the marquee event later that night.

Tickets for tonight’s game and most other Windsor Express games are available at  519-800-3665 or by email.


About the Author

Kim Elliott
Kim's first foray into sports writing was for The Lance student newspaper at the University of Windsor. While broadcasting at CJAM and with OUA.TV, he belonged to an award-winning sports media team which picked up the 2013-14 Lancer A honours. In turn, Kim began broadcasting and writing for the Windsor Express, of the National Basketball League of Canada, for WE-TV, and now at The Square. Kim has obtained a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Hons) and a degree in Education from the University of Windsor. Email Kim Elliott