Canadian Elite Basketball League, U Sports Form League Partnership
NIAGARA / TORONTO (February 12, 2019) – The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), and U SPORTS, the national brand for university sports in Canada, announced Tuesday a partnership that will provide competitive developmental opportunities for Canadian University men’s basketball players. This unique collaboration will allow student-athletes to sign a CEBL developmental contract that offers them a platform to further help grow their talents in the summer months. Top U SPORTS student-athletes will be drafted as part of a league wide Entry Draft scheduled for mid-March, following the 2019 U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8, hosted by Dalhousie University at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.
“We are excited to partner with the CEBL and give our men’s basketball student-athletes the chance to stay in Canada to pursue their dreams,” said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown. “We are happy to see the sport of basketball grow at home following Canada’s recent qualification for the FIBA World Cup and help create a bright future for the sport across the country.”
The CEBL, the official professional league partner of Canada Basketball, opens its inaugural season in May with franchises in Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, Fraser Valley (Abbotsford), Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), and Niagara (St. Catharines).
“A partnership between the CEBL and U SPORTS bodes well for the development of basketball in Canada,” said Glen Grunwald, CEO and President of Canada Basketball. “This opens up a unique opportunity for student-athletes to develop their talents right here in their home country and that’s a sign of a very exciting time for the sport”.
CEBL teams will play a 20-game regular season from May 9 to August 15, culminating with a league championship playoff at a site to be announced. CEBL rosters will be predominantly comprised of Canadians playing professionally during the traditional basketball season, as well as a certain number of international and U SPORTS players. More information about the CEBL may be obtained at www.cebl.ca.
“Partnering with U SPORTS to help grow the rising stars of basketball in this country really excites us,” said Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer of the CEBL. “I would like to thank Graham and his team for their passionate involvement in helping the CEBL develop and grow the game in this country and make it a global basketball powerhouse.”
About the Canadian Elite Basketball League
The CEBL is a new basketball experience that will feature high caliber professional basketball in a fan-friendly entertainment environment in six cities across Canada during its inaugural season. The league is aimed at helping provide Canadians with a premium professional basketball option that gives players, coaches, fans and other stakeholders the opportunity to meaningfully engage with one of Canada’s most popular sports. As the First Division Professional League partner of Canada Basketball, the league will begin play in May 2019. More information about the CEBL can be obtained at www.cebl.ca.
About Canada Basketball
Canada Basketball is the National Sporting Organization for the sport of Basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball is respected worldwide and is recognized by the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Government of Canada as the sole governing body of the sport of amateur basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball, a not-for-profit organization, represents all basketball interests, provides leadership, coordination and direction in all areas of the sport of basketball. Visit basketball.ca for more information
About U SPORTS
U SPORTS is the national brand for university sports in Canada. Every year, close to 20,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. U SPORTS also provides higher performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous World University Championships.