Talkin’ Hoops with Halifax Rainmen guard, Devon “Chuck” Norris

Devon Norris is your lone Haligonian on this year’s Halifax Rainmen roster.  The 6’3″ guard out of Upper Tantallon impressed the Rainmen staff at the Halifax open tryouts back in October, which ultimately led to a Rainmen contract offer.  Norris played basketball for Sir John A. MacDonald in his high school days and then continued his basketball career into university as a Dalhousie Tiger.  I had the opportunity to ask Devon about his Rainmen experience, his thoughts on his teammate, John Strickland, and if he had the chance to introduce the rest of the team to a tasty Halifax favourite.

Romy ( First of all, congratulations on becoming a member of the Halifax Rainmen this season. Up until this point, what has your experience with the team been like?

Devon Norris: Thanks Romy. So far, this whole experience has been very enjoyable. I’m learning so much everyday at practice, and playing at this level of basketball has improved my game so much. There’s a lot of different skills I had to develop quickly in order survive on the court. There’s a great group of guys that make up this team, so on and off the court it’s been a lot of fun, and playing in my home town with the Rainmen has been awesome.

Romy ( It must be a great learning experience playing with a bunch of guys who have played hoops over the world. What advice and/or tips have you received from these guys?

Devon Norris: Yeah, most definitely. Everyone on the team has a different story and where they’ve played, and they all have great basketball experience. It’s fun talking to them and hearing their stories from where they’ve played, and some of the experiences they had. I’m always listening to what they have to say in practice too, and trying to learn everyday, and keep pushing myself.

Romy ( Are there any rookie duties with the Rainmen? Do you have to grab the team’s lunch or carry around a Dora the Explorer backpack with the teams’ socks?

Devon Norris: Rookie duties? Haha… I’ve been lucky, there hasn’t been anything too crazy happen. They’ll crack jokes here and there, but mostly it’s carrying the basketballs, or the medical bag. Hopefully the vets won’t read this and get some ideas!

Romy ( You’ve played with Sir John A., the Dal Tigers and now the Rainmen. What has been the most memorable moment from your basketball career?

Devon Norris: I have had many memorable moments that come to mind, and it’s hard to pick just one. I’ve met so many great people, and made my closest friends from playing basketball. Playing this game has opened many doors for myself, and I think the whole experience I’ve had has been memorable, and it keeps on getting better and better! After graduating from Dalhousie University I wasn’t sure I’d play any more competitive basketball. When I started thinking about playing again, I was determined to make this team. Being drafted by the Rainmen and getting through training camp and making this team has been memorable for me, as it’s been something I was focused on accomplishing throughout the summer leading up to training camp. (I’d like to win a championship this season with the Rainmen, which would be the most memorable!)

Romy ( Is John Strickland as comical in the locker room as he is on the court?

Devon Norris: John Strickland is a great guy. When the lights come on and the crowd is watching he likes to entertain. He’s a great motivator and leader in the locker room and on the bench, and really pushes everyone in practice, and keeps the competitiveness up. Aside from basketball, he is comical in the locker room, but we have a lot of jokers on the team, so there’s very few dull moments when we’re not playing basketball together.

Romy ( What have been your impressions on the growth of the sport of basketball not only in Halifax but in Canada as a whole? What do you think has sparked this growth?

Devon Norris: I think there’s been many reasons why basketball keeps on getting bigger and bigger in Canada. Some of the most evident reasons which sparked this growth is probably having a Canadian NBA team like the Raptors, and Canadian, Steve Nash having a very successful NBA career. Also, I believe having pro teams like the Halifax Rainmen, and the Quebec Kebs gives Canadian basketball fans a chance to check out a high level of competitive/exciting basketball as well.

Romy ( Important Question: Have you introduced any of the Rainmen to donairs yet??

Devon Norris: Haha, I actually haven’t had the chance to introduce them to a donair yet. I don’t think I will until we have a day-off, as I don’t think it would be the best pre-game meal!

A big thanks goes out to Devon for taking a moment to respond to our questions, you can check Devon at the Metro Centre for Halifax Rainmen home games.

Check out previous Rainmen-related Q and A’s:

Romy Aquino covers the pro basketball game (the Canadian Flavour of the NBA, the PBL’s Halifax Rainmen) from a fan’s perspective.  He also can be found at NBA hoops blogs, Hip Hoop Junkies (A Member of’s Sports Federation) and Hoop Heads North.  Follow him on Twitter: @romyaquino

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