The Manchester Millrats have made Premier Basketball League history. By signing Dwight Brewington, they have officially acquired the first deaf player ever in the PBL. Brewington, a 6'5" swingman averaged 22.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last year as a member of Maccabi Ashod in Isreal.
Prior to that Brewington played for two years at Providence College where he was the Friars' second leading scorer (13.3 ppg) as a sophomore behind current Minnesota Timberwolves star, Ryan Gomes. After his Sophomore year Brewington transfered to Liberty College and after one year submitted an early entry application for the 2007 NBA Draft.
Not finding a home in the NBA Brewington was signed to the Tulsa 66ers, and then acquired by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, where he scored 9.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg.
Despite the success that Brewington has achieved on the basketball court, he still has to overcome people's perception of his handicap and prove that he can compete at the professional level.
"I just want to make the NBA. That's it," said Brewington. "To be the first deaf player and show all the deaf kids and other handicapped kids and let them know that if you want to do something, don't let anyone stop you from getting there."
The Millrats also announced today the signing of former University of New Hampshire Wildcat, Tyrece Gibbs. Gibbs is the first Wildcat to suit up for the only professional basketball team in the Granite State.
Gibbs graduated this spring from UNH and with his name as a permanent fixture in the record books. He averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game while shooting an astounding 40% from behind the arc.
Gibbs is only the second player in school history to record at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 200 assists, and 80 steals, joining 1995 graduate Eric Montanari.
Even though he is a rookie, Gibbs will be looked on to contribute with his defensive prowess and scoring.
The players were introduced to the kids and faculty of the Lighthouse Charter School before conducting a clinic.
"We are very pleased to have Dwight Brewington and Tyrece Gibbs with the Millrats this season," explained Millrats GM Ian McCarthy. "Brewington is a very explosive scorer who has several years of professional experience, while Tyrece is a great defender and plays hard every minute - which is the kind of team we want to be."
The Millrats plan to announce more signings prior to opening training camp on December 12th.