Today the Sharks tip off our 2023 season on the road against the Long Beach Blue Waves! The Blue Waves, an expansion team making their debut in the TBL’s Western Conference, will face a completely different Sharks team than the one that made the second round of the playoffs in 2022.
Two former Sharks, Aaron Felix and Mandrell Worthy, are currently dominating for their teams in Kazakhstan and Australia, respectively, and a third starter, Tyler Sickmeyer, retired at the end of last season.
With forward Rasean Simpson out with a shoulder injury, Deion Davis, a sharp-shooting guard born and raised in San Diego, is the Sharks’ only returning starter. He has some new weapons joining him though, including “Monstar” Marcus Bell (6’10”) and Julio Guity (6’9”), who will be teaming up to host block parties all season long! Another key acquisition, Brandon “Body Bag” Moss, is a high-flying talent capable of scoring in bunches on the wing or in the paint.
Several new Sharks earned their way onto the team through our offseason “Overlooked, Underrated” tryout tour, including hard-nosed guards Aaron Whitman and Ronnie Carson. Other additions, including TBL draft pick Brandon Adams and sharp-shooting guard Chiddy Golden, give the Sharks a fresh look and a chance to win every time the team takes the floor.
Come for the free popcorn, stay for the dunks: National Dunk Champion Michael Purdie, who was once teammates with former Shark Tyler Sickmeyer, returns to San Diego and brings his above-the-rim act with him.
Warm-ups are going to be a can’t miss spectacle all season long, and the National Dunk Champ brings a strong mid-range game to the table as well.
One thing Head Coach and General Manager Brandon Cheeks wanted to improve upon from last year was depth, and this team has it in spades. Returning Sharks Aaron Jennings, Jonathan DaSilva, and Glenn Jones are joined by local big man Sean Rogers, sharp-shooting Kyle Ruiz, an athletic wing in John Rich, fan-favorite (and wily veteran) Manny Perez, and a bevy of guard talent anchored by Ced McGinnis, Myles Franklin, Latrelle Franklin, and Chicago product Micah Bradford.
With five new teams in the division (Long Beach Blue Waves, South Bay Flash, Seattle Superhawks, Wenatchee Big Horns, and West Coast Breeze) plus returning rivals Bakersfield, Vancouver, and Salem, the Western Conference is going to be competitive from top to bottom this year.
Every game will be incredibly important as the Sharks jockey for playoff seeding and an eventual Western Conference title.
After the Sharks take on the Waves in Long Beach today, they return home for a rematch on Saturday at 6pm ahead of a road trip to Seattle and Wenatchee, Washington. The Sharks’ next home games are March 18th at 6pm against the Salem Capitals and March 19th at 3pm against the Bakersfield Majestics.