By Thomas Becker
In basketball, having a strong backcourt tandem seems to be a recipe for success. Look no further than dual point guards Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet of the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors. Or if you want an example closer to home, just look at the AUS Women's Basketball Champion UPEI Panthers, who were led by, you guessed it, guards Jenna Mae Ellsworth and Reese Baxendale.
On the men's side, head coach Darrell Glenn and his staff recently added Kenny Chambers in hopes of creating their own dynamic backcourt headlined by the 20-year-old recruit and Elijah Miller, who flirted with an AUS all-star selection in his rookie season.
Much like Miller, the six-foot-one Chambers is a pass-first guard, who can keep defences honest with his ability to score and his shooting touch from outside.
"We like his ability to make plays for himself and others," Glenn said. "He plays with a lot of poise and we really like his competitiveness."
That's encouraging news for a team that struggled at times getting their offence going. With two ball distributers potentially on the floor at once it could yield some impressive results.
"Both Elijah and Kenny are unselfish players with the ability to score in a variety of ways," Glenn said. "Our hope is that they will complement each other and make it easier for everyone on the team to get higher percentage shots."
In his final year with the North Arkansas College Pioneers of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Chambers averaged 15.3 points per game and shot 48.9 per cent from the field (42.5 per cent from three). And, oh yeah, he dished out 6.4 assists a night.
"I'm an upbeat player. I like to play fast but smart at the same time. But I can also slow the ball down and execute plays when I need to," said the Willard, Missouri native. "Teammates trusted me with the ball and calling plays in critical situations."
While Chambers was doing that each weekend, Miller had himself an outstanding rookie season where he averaged 15.3 points per game and 5.3 assists.
If both those players play at that level again, there's no telling what could happen. But one thing's for certain, they both want to bring a championship back to P.E.I.
"My goal heading into every season is to win a championship," Chambers said. "What I expect from my rookie season at UPEI is to embrace my role and help make the team better as a whole."