Saturday, November 01, 2014

First overall pick Weidner impresses in NBL Canada debut

Mississauga Power's Jordan Weidner (center) during its 111-97 win over Brampton A's

In the first game of their respective 2014-15 NBL Canada seasons, the Brampton A's and Mississauga Power renewed acquaintances at Powerade Centre in the Peel Region rivalry.

The Power getting the better of Brampton by a score of 111-97.

One player that experienced the rivalry for the first time is Jordan Weidner, finishing with nine points and two assists while going an efficient 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. The 2014 NBL Canada first overall pick not only showed his range but also an ability to attack the basket, take on a leadership role and most of all be a floor general.

"The level of competition is very high and I know there's a target on my back [being the first overall pick]," said Weidner. "but having that label is what fuels me throughout the week to stay humble and hungry."

"I love being a passer and love to facilitate. Coming out of a small school like Indiana Wesleyan, what separated me was my ability to score and pass. It was a good four years, we got beat in the [NAIA] national tournament three straight years and in my senior year we finally won it all."

These are traits that coach Kyle Julius saw the moment the Power drafted Weidner.

"Everybody was questioning us when we drafted him," said Julius. " I said the guy can shoot at a high level, he has a high level IQ and he's a proven winner. What are you questioning?"

"Now he has come out at this level and has done really well tonight and in preseason."

Julius' approach to changing the culture and perception of the Mississauga Power filters from his intense nature down to his players and specifically his guards, an aspect of his character that Weidner shares.

"I love him," said Julius to NBLCNET. "When I saw him at the combine I saw a lot of myself and the way I tried to play, so there was a definite connection right away."

From his perspective, Weidner also sees some similarities between himself and his coach.

"I have noticed that we're very similar, we like to think there's nobody that's more competitive than us." Said Weidner. "I'm loving being able to play under him and I feel like our mindsets are the same.

"His intensity fires me up as well as the rest of the guys."

These two teams are set to do it again on Thursday November 13, 2014 at Hershey Centre.