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Rattlers looking to rebound this Canadian Elite Basketball League season | CBC News

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The Saskatchewan Rattlers are back on the court.

The team’s training camp opened Tuesday in Saskatoon in advance of the new Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season.

First-year Rattlers head coach Larry Abney is looking to make the team into a playoff contender after it missed the post-season last year.

Abney said the Rattlers will be a dynamic, versatile team.

“We have a lot of players that can play multiple positions. We’ve got drivers, we’ve got shooters,” said Abney. “We’ve got guys who are going to really get after it.”

One of those players is 6-foot-10 Canadian forward Maurice Calloo, who is entering his third season in the CEBL, but first with the Rattlers.

Calloo has seen the world through basketball, playing in different leagues around the globe. The Windsor, Ont., native has been in the United States, Brazil, Luxembourg and, most recently, Taiwan.

“[In Taiwan] they play really fast up and down, so I feel like I got better with my shape and learning the game from different spots on the court very quickly,” said Calloo.

Those improvements should translate well with his game in the CEBL.

“A lot of people my size can’t really move that fast, so I’m going to use it to my advantage.”

Rattlers Maurice Calloo, centre, has travelled the world playing basketball. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Calloo said Abney, who most recently coached the Los Angeles Clippers’ G-League team, is already bringing an intensity to practice.

“We’re playing pretty fast,” he said. “He’s bringing his stuff from other organizations.”

Jalen Harris was one of the Rattlers’ big off-season recruits.

The 6-foot-5 guard played with the Toronto Raptors in the 2020-21 season, scoring a game high 31 points in the last game of the season against Dallas.

“I always have championship aspirations wherever I’m going,” said Harris, who also played for the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G-League.

A basketball coach and player in a gym.
Saskatchewan Rattlers head coach Larry Abney, left, will lean heavily on guard Jalen Harris this upcoming season. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Harris has experience playing in the CEBL, having suited up with the reigning champion Scarborough Shooting Stars for two seasons.

“I just want to get back [to the championship game],” said Harris, who plans on leading his teammates by example.

“I want to go out, show that I can do the things that I’ll be preaching.”

The Rattlers continue training camp this week and early next week.

Their first game is next Wednesday, May 22, when they host the Winnipeg Sea Bears at SaskTel Centre.

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