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.