Advertisement

‘Everybody has that winning mentality’: new additions finding chemistry with Rattlers

‘Everybody has that winning mentality’: new additions finding chemistry with Rattlers
WATCH ABOVE: New additions finding chemistry with Saskatchewan Rattlers.

Following a season-low fifth straight loss, a 93-75 drubbing at the hands of the Guelph Nighthawks, the Saskatchewan Rattlers front office knew that something needed to change.

“[Head coach] Greg Jockims and I sat down and I said, ‘Greg we need to fix this,'” team president Lee Genier said.

“Then we went out and found some great new energy and players just to complement a great team. But now we’ve got what I believe is a championship team, so it’s great to see them firing on all cylinders and playing with a tonne of energy right now.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Rattlers show off 1st set of jerseys

“The guys we tried to seek out were guys that are professional,” Jockims said. “They’ve been around and have been in this situation before and they understand how important chemistry is.”

One of the new additions who has seamlessly transitioned into the lineup is forward Shaq Keith. Keith was released from the Hamilton Honey Badgers earlier this season but has found success with Saskatchewan, averaging 19.6 points per game.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Rattlers down Hamilton Honey Badgers for first home win

“It’s all repetition,” Keith said. “The more you play with guys the more you get familiar. The majority of the guys here are guys I’m familiar with because we’ve either played against them somewhere overseas, or some of them have been our teammates as our careers have gone by.

“The team over here, everybody has that winning mentality and you really can’t defeat that,” he continued.

With just three games remaining on the Rattlers regular-season schedule, Keith and other newcomers Maurice Jones and Ryan Ejim have only two more weeks to familiarize themselves with the playbook ahead of Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) championship weekend which begins on Aug. 24.

“Now that the rosters are set, you have time to get with certain players and things like that,” Keith said.

“There are no more roster moves, so these are the players that you’re rocking with until the end.”

WATCH: (June 26, 2019) Saskatchewan Rattlers forward excited playing in CEBL

Saskatchewan Rattlers forward excited playing in CEBL
Saskatchewan Rattlers forward excited playing in CEBL

Besides building chemistry with his new teammates, Keith also had a chance to establish a connection with Rattlers fans last week in his home debut.

“It was great, man,” Keith said. “The fans were out there interacting, and I like interacting with the fans and that type of stuff.

Story continues below advertisement

“The energy was so right.”