Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-July 2, 2018-The Philly Cannons, of the American Basketball Association (ABA), have submitted an entry into the prestigious, highly competitive FiDonce Pro Am League this summer. “It was really important for us to jump on this opportunity because we are still building the Philly Cannons brand in the area and making inroads into the Philly basketball community so this was another step in that direction,” said owner/head coach, Roger Beckwith.
The Cannons, founded in April of 2016, are preparing for their third season in the ABA. Beckwith feels playing in the FiDonce Pro Am will give the Cannons more than enough competition to get ready for the Reading Wizards and Jersey Expresses of the ABA. “The League (ABA) is very competitive and we send 300 plus players to FIBA teams annually, but with FiDonce, you have the elite Philly players that do not see the ABA as a stepping stone on their career path,” offered Beckwith. “They are already making nearly six figures overseas and were high level Division 1 players from the Big 5…. I can’t get a Dalton Pepper or Tyreek Durden to play for the Cannons but those level players in other cities will spend time with their local ABA team.” Playing in FiDonce gives Beckwith the opportunity to network and recruit other players and to further the brand in Philadelphia basketball circles.
Top competition is what the FiDonce Pro Am is all about and bringing excitement back to summer time basketball in Philly. Notable players expected to compete this summer are Tyreke Evans (Memphis Grizzlies), Rondae Jefferson (Brooklyn Nets), George Papagiannis (Portland Trailblazers), Markieff Morris (Washington Wizards) and Marcus Morris (Boston Celtics) along with former NBA players Dionte Christmas, Hakim Warrick and Jason Thompson. Former Penn State shooting guard, Shep Garner, is also expected to play. To give an example of the high level competition, the team with the Morris twins lost this past weekend so it’s no cakewalk for the high profile NBA players either.
Headlining the Cannons roster in the Pro Am is Cannon alum, Marcus Thomas, a blossoming 6’3” point guard who most recently completed a stint in Morocco, Duane Johnson, 6’7” swingman who has played the past two season for Black Star Mersch of Luxembourg, and 6’5” forward Mamadou Diakite, another Cannon alum who recently completed two FIBA stints in Asia. Current Cannons from last season’s ABA playoff qualifier include 6’4” wing Kassim Green, 6’2” combo guard Malcolm Richardson, 6’3” combo guard Shawn Green, 6’1” point guard Abe Massaley, and 5’11” sniper Rell Harrington. Top newcomers to the Cannons organization include 6’7” forward Eddie Callender (Millersville), 6’7” forward Kyle-Michael Rose (Bloomsburg) and 6’6” forward Malik Garner (UMBC/Bloomsburg) and 5’11’ point guard Preston Hickman.
The Cannons have played 3 games at FiDonce thus far, and is a buzzer beating baseline jump shot from being 3-0 with last night’s 98-80 victory. There are 16 teams in all, and each team will play 8 regular season games with playoffs and a 3 game league championship in early August. Games are played on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday being at 4 PM. No games will be played this Wednesday due to the July 4th Holiday.