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CEBL Player Showcase sets strong benchmark for prospective Canadian players - Sep 11, 2018

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It's not often that a collection of Canada's best basketball players have an opportunity to gather in one gym for a unique chance to be scouted and watched by spectators that included some of Canada's leading basketball coaches, agents, members of the media and fans.

However, the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) provided such a platform on Sunday, August 26, at Ryerson's Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto, Ont.

Players were thrust into the spotlight as part of an important chance to gain professional exposure from prospective professional coaches, and to also measure themselves against the talents of their peers. Similarly, league officials and executives gathered to assess the skills of the elite players in attendance.

"I think it went very well. I think we put our best foot forward and since that time I've received a bunch of feedback, both at the event and after, about how much they liked and appreciated the direction we're taking as a league," CEBL CEO Mike Morreale said.

Morreale added that while support for the league on behalf of fans is steadily growing, he takes pride in the far-reaching impact that the CEBL will have in the communities where its first six teams are based.

'From a player's perspective, that's where we've gotten most of our positive response because they're looking for a place to play. That trickles down to the minor leagues-where 5 to 10-year-old kids now have something to aspire to locally,' Morreale said.

One of the player's in attendance was Anthony Ottley. Ottley, a 27-year-old veteran of professional basketball, was impressed with the branding and professionalism that was shown at the New Era sponsored event. Players were provided with CEBL branded player bags, shorts, snapbacks and jerseys as part of their personal invitation to the showcase.

For Ottley, the New Era gift bag was a strong indication of the business opportunities outside of basketball that could accompany the exposure from playing in the CEBL.

'It would mean a lot. I don't think my mom's seen me play yet, so it would be really good-that exposure. People that are affiliated with basketball around Canada can now actually see you in your own country, and when you play outside of the country they don't really get to see you,' Ottley said.

Dele Ogundokun, a former standout for the McGill Redmen and a young talent to watch on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, had high praise for the event after being put to the test in a series of drills and scrimmages against fellow players at the showcase.

'It was nice-there was a lot of top guys here playing and competing, so once we got to know each other a little bit and started going, it got competitive when we got into the 5-on-5 and playing full court,' Ogundokun said.

'It's a great opportunity for Canadian talent and ballers to be able to play on their home soil in front of families and friends. It's awesome to have an opportunity to play all over Canada and show that Canada basketball is on the uprise.'

The CEBL plans to hold combines and local tryouts in the future as tip-off for its inaugural season in May 2019 draws closer.

Until then, Morreale said a strong focus of the league will be continuing its grassroots approach towards building relationships with prospective players, as well as local businesses and organizations in each of the CEBL's six markets.

HAMILTON, Ont. - Canada Basketball and the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced Thursday a collaboration that establishes the CEBL as the 'Official First Division Professional League Partner of Canada Basketball.' The partnership formally makes the CEBL a Division 1 League of Canada Basketball, adhering to official FIBA rules and regulations for the play and officiating of its games. Mutual benefits come in shared resources focused on the development of players, coaches, gam...   [read more]
The Canadian Elite Basketball League announced Tuesday that international sports and lifestyle brand New Era Cap Co Inc. will be the Official On-Court Partner providing all on-court apparel and product for its six member clubs. The partnership is a five-year agreement running through the 2023 season. The professional basketball league opens its inaugural season in May 2019 in Edmonton, Hamilton, Guelph, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), Niagara (St. Catharines), and Fraser Valley (Abbotsford). M...   [read more]
Guelph Nighthawks Introduce Tarry Upshaw as 1st Head Coach in Team History - 2 months ago
The Guelph Nighthawks Professional Basketball Club is excited to announce Tarry Upshaw as its Head Coach and General Manager for the 2019 Canadian Elite Basketball League season. Coach Upshaw joins the Guelph Nighthawks following a decorated professional career that has taken him from North America to Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Having both played and coached at the University of Guelph, Tarry brings with him the unique combination of ties to the local basketball community and a str...   [read more]

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