Friday March 29, 2013 | 08:42 AM

During the excitement of March Madness, we witness the emotion of college basketball, as players put their heart into the game.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the NBA D-League. Players come and go. You wonder how loyal they can be, how much emotion they can put into the game. They are professional mercenaries.

But they also care.

Listen to guard Curtis Jerrells, recently signed by the Maine Red Claws, and a key player in their 109-102 win over the Erie BayHawks (see today’s story).

Thursday’s victory kept Maine in the playoff race. Does a veteran like Jerrells care about such things?

“It means a lot to the fans and the franchise,” Jerrells said. “I know they have never been to the playoffs.

“I’ve only been here for about two weeks, but I feel the sense of urgency and intensity. As a player and a professional, I want to do my job and make it to these playoffs.”

The Red Claws have two games left on the schedule, both at Erie.

Four teams are battling for the final two playoff spots in the league:

Sioux Falls (25-21)
Fort Wayne (24-22)
Maine (25-23)
Erie (23-23)


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court

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