Former Alberta and Fraser Valley guard Joel Friesen was selected first overall

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) revealed all the top talent that was drafted by the league’s six teams in its first ever Entry Draft on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The draft reveal took place at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in front of media, sports and lifestyle influencers, prominent basketball personalities and executives.

The Fraser Valley Bandits had the first overall pick in the regional rounds and selected 6-foot-5 guard Joel Friesen, a Fraser Valley native who played for the University of the Fraser Valley and the University of Alberta before launching his professional career in 2015. Friesen was one of 38 U SPORTS players selected that have suited up for 21 different schools across the country – including five of six picks in the first regional round.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see such amazing talent represent the league and its six teams,” said Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer of the CEBL. “Congratulations to all the players who got drafted – it’s a historic time for a Canadian basketball fan.”

The CEBL, the official professional league partner of Canada Basketball, opens its inaugural season in May with franchises in Fraser Valley (Abbotsford), Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), and Niagara (St. Catharines). 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.

“This is going to give our Canadian based student-athletes in basketball a real opportunity to continue to play at an elite level,” said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown. “Now with the CEBL, you can pursue both during the offseason and when your schooling is done, opportunities beyond U SPORTS basketball.”

Regional Rounds

The first four rounds of the draft had a regional focus as CEBL teams selected players from their respective territories, allowing each team to have a nucleus of players from its own region.

Round 1

  1. Fraser Valley Bandits: Joel Friesen, University of Alberta / University of the Fraser Valley (Hometown: Abbotsford, BC)
  2. Edmonton Stingers: Mamadou Gueye, University of Alberta (Hometown: Quebec City, QC)
  3. Guelph Nighthawks: Connor Wood, Carleton University (Hometown: Guelph, ON)
  4. Saskatchewan Rattlers: Denzel James, MacEwan University (Hometown: Edmonton, AB)
  5. Hamilton Honey Badgers: MiKyle McIntosh, University of Oregon (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  6. Niagara River Lions: Kaza Kajami-Keane, Carleton University (Hometown: Ajax, ON)

Round 2

  1. Niagara River Lions: Kassius Robertson, Missouri State University (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  2. Hamilton Honey Badgers: Erik Nissen, Acadia University (Hometown: Quispamsis, NB)
  3. Saskatchewan Rattlers: Jelane Pryce, University of Winnipeg / Ryerson University (Hometown: Innisfil, ON)
  4. Guelph Nighthawks: Jevohn Shepherd, Michigan State University (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  5. Edmonton Stingers: Mathieu Kamba, Central Arkansas University (Hometown: Calgary, AB)
  6. Fraser Valley Bandits: Marek Klassen, Point Loma Nazarene University (Hometown: Abbotsford, BC)

Round 3

  1. Fraser Valley Bandits: Diego Kapelan, McNeese State University (Hometown: Vancouver, BC)
  2. Edmonton Stingers: Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, University of Calgary (Hometown: Winnipeg, MB)
  3. Guelph Nighthawks: Marvin Binney, St. Mary’s University, Texas (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  4. Saskatchewan Rattlers: Justus Alleyn, University of Manitoba (Hometown: Winnipeg, MB)
  5. Hamilton Honey Badgers: Duane Notice, University of South Carolina (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  6. Niagara River Lions: Guillaume Boucard, Carleton University (Hometown: Montreal, QC)

Round 4

  1. Niagara River Lions: Tyrone Watson, New Mexico State University (Hometown: Hamilton, ON)
  2. Hamilton Honey Badgers: Junior Cadougan, Marquette University (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  3. Saskatchewan Rattlers: Thomas Cooper, University of Calgary (Hometown: Chattanooga, Tennessee)
  4. Guelph Nighthawks: Emanual Shepherd, Southern University (Hometown: Toronto, ON)
  5. Edmonton Stingers: Jordan Baker, University of Alberta (Hometown: Edmonton, AB)
  6. Fraser Valley Bandits: Dallin Bachynski, University of Utah (Calgary, AB)

By The Numbers

The CEBL Entry Draft saw prominent athletes being picked from several world class leagues and university programs. Below is a summary of where these athletes came from.

Players Selected by Experience

  • U SPORTS Background: 38 players from 21 different schools*
  • NBA G-League Experience: 12 players
  • Canadian National Team Experience: 26 players
  • International Players: 10 players

*Including six players that have played for more than one school

U SPORTS Players Selected by Conference*

  • OUA: 20
  • CW: 19
  • AUS: 5

*Including six players that have played for more than one school

U SPORTS Players Selected by School*

  • Carleton: 5
  • Ryerson: 5
  • Alberta: 4
  • Saskatchewan: 4
  • UBC: 4
  • Calgary: 2
  • Cape Breton: 2
  • McMaster: 2
  • StFX 2
  • Winnipeg: 2
  • Windsor: 2
  • Acadia: 1
  • Brock: 1
  • Fraser Valley: 1
  • Guelph: 1
  • MacEwan: 1
  • Manitoba: 1
  • Ottawa 1
  • Waterloo: 1
  • Western: 1
  • York: 1

*Including six players that have played for more than one school