Incoming NSU forward plays for Team Canada’s national squad
NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - Even though the basketball season is a few months away, the Demons’ program will look a lot different come November.
A new head coach, a new coaching staff and a brand new, reloaded roster, with the exception of one returner, will be playing and coaching in Prather Coliseum for the first time.
“We had to bring in 13 new guys,” said Demons’ head basketball coach Rick Cabrera. “My staff and I hit the ground running. It has been fun, and there haven’t been very many stressful days.”
Three and a half months ago, Cabrera was announced as the Demons’ new head coach and was tasked with replacing some of the top talent in the Southland Conference.
He took the challenge head-on and has thrived from recruiting through the transfer portal. The portal has allowed him to bring in multiple players from his former college, Tallahassee Community College, and reunite with the six-foot-seven player maker, Addison Patterson.
“Even through his hiccups throughout his collegiate career, he is a great kid,” said Cabrera. “Which is why he is coming here. Obviously, he is an elite talent, if I did not have this relationship with him, he probably wouldn’t come this route so I am forever grateful for that.”
Last week, Patterson represented his home country playing for Team Canada in the GloblJam tournament.
He averaged 13.8 points per contest, and he put on a show during the Gold Medal game against Kentucky, scoring 20 points, 18 in the first half.
Coach Cabrera attended each game of the tournament cheering on his current player.
“I was up in Toronto during those games, and it was great to see him represent his country and play really well,” said Cabrera, as he was remembering the moments. “It is special, I watched from the sidelines while coaching him, and I knew he was great. As a fan, it gave me that confidence to know that Northwestern State is going to be proud and be happy with what he brings to the table.”
Even though there are not many familiar faces returning on this upcoming season’s roster, the high caliber of talent Cabrera has been able to bring in so far is sure to make an impact once the season tips off.
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