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Georgia-Lina Hurricanes preparing roster for first season
David Lee | Tue, Feb. 26 3:12 PM
The Georgia-Lina Hurricanes held a tryout Saturday at Dogwood Terrace Boys and Girls Club to get a better idea of the available talent as they prepare for their first season.
The Hurricanes are set to begin their inaugural season in the American Basketball Association when the regular season kicks off in November. Co-owner Bryan Beaver said the team has a few players he is prepared to add to the roster, but tryouts give him a better idea of what he can add.
Two names Beaver mentioned for the roster are Travon McGruder and Toby Veal. McGruder is a Josey product who played at Albany State. Veal, a 6-8 forward from Savannah, played at Virginia Commonwealth in its 2010-11 run to the Final Four. Veal averaged 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10 minutes per game as a role player for the Rams. He was set to play his final college season at Paine this season, but Beaver said Veal got into "minor trouble" and didn't play.
Otherwise, Beaver said much remains up in the air.
"We've had a lot of guys in different areas of the 50 states, and I'm very pleased with what I've seen," he said. "Some we’re reconsidering with the fact that we’re trying to look for more diverse guards. We’re reconsidering some things in regards to our post play and our frontcourt. So we’re reconsidering many things."
Georgia-Lina was in talks with Paine to use its new HEAL Complex when the Hurricanes announced their intention to play. Beaver said the two sides are nearing an agreement.
"We did get official word Thursday that everything is good," he said. "We’re just waiting on a contract. So it’s pretty much locked in."
The Hurricanes plan to begin preseason play in July, although details have not been announced.
Georgia-Lina Hurricanes to bring pro basketball back to Augusta
By David Lee
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 11:38 AM
Last updated 6:57 PM
Bryan Beaver has dreamed of owning a professional basketball team since he was 11. Next November, that dream will be realized. Beaver and co-owner Jerald Smith are bringing semi-professional basketball back to Augusta, beginning next year.
The Georgia-Lina Hurricanes will join the American Basketball Association and will play teams in both the Mid-Atlantic and Atlantic South divisions.
“We felt it was the right time to step up a level to the ABA,” said Beaver, who is the chairman and founder of Elite Sports Group. “We know the owner of the ABA, Joe Newman, is a guy who works day by day to assure things are in the team’s best interests. It’ll be quality basketball for the fans and city.”
Beaver and Smith are currently in talks with Paine College on using its facilities as the Hurricanes’ home venue, according to Paine athletic director Tim Duncan. A deadline for submitting the Hurricanes’ schedule to Paine has been set for Jan. 21.
“Their group has visited the facilities and talked to us, and they are very impressive,” Duncan said. “We’re currently working out the details to make it happen. It’s not done, but it’s something that’s being pursued.”
Beaver said the core of what will be the Hurricanes roster is in place, currently eight to 10 players who are making the transition from the amateur level. The group has been competing at the amateur and recreational level in Augusta since 2005.
“The stage of quality basketball gets better at the semi-pro level,” Beaver said. “It’s better competition and a chance to travel. We felt this was a good opportunity to do that.”
Beaver will be head coach of the Hurricanes. Michael Bennett, Barry Burnett and Christopher Stallings will join him on the bench as assistants. The team’s main colors will be green, orange and white.
Beaver said details of a January tryout would be announced at a later date. The team will play in a charity showcase in February at the Bernie Ward Community Center.
The ABA schedule runs from November to March, with games played throughout the week. The league was founded in 1967.