Canadian Elite Basketball League

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Canadian Elite Basketball League
SportBasketball
Founded25 October 2017; 6 years ago (2017-10-25)[1]
First season2019
CommissionerMike Morreale
AdministratorCanada Basketball
MottoThis is Our Game[2]
No. of teams10
CountryCanada
ConfederationFIBA Americas
Most recent
champion(s)
Scarborough Shooting Stars
(1st title)
(2023)
Most titlesEdmonton Stingers
(2 titles)
TV partner(s)
International cup(s)Champions League
Official websiteCEBL.ca
Current sports event 2024 CEBL season

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL; French: Ligue élite canadienne de basketball—LÉCB) is the premier men's professional basketball league in Canada, as recognized by Canada Basketball.[3] The CEBL was founded in 2017 and began play in 2019 with six teams all owned and operated by ownership group Canadian Basketball Ventures.[4]

The league currently consists of 10 teams from six provinces, with four from Ontario, two from Alberta, and one each from British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, making the CEBL the largest professional sports league based entirely in Canada. CEBL teams play 20 regular-season games from May to August. The season culminates in the six-team playoffs that include a final four Championship Weekend where the league's champion is crowned.[5]

History[edit]

The Edmonton Stingers holding the CEBL trophy in 2020

The CEBL was first announced in October 2017.[1] Niagara River Lions owner Richard Petko had been dissatisfied with the operations of the National Basketball League of Canada, which he deemed to be a "shoestring business" with no vision. He attempted to persuade the league to hire Mike Morreale, a former Canadian Football League player who, Petko felt, could do better at marketing the league and attracting sponsorship. However, after the NBL declined, Petko and Morreale decided to organize their own league, with Morreale as CEO.[6] The six charter teams were officially unveiled in May 2018, with the River Lions joining five newly-created franchises in Abbotsford which moved to Langley in 2021, Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, and Saskatoon.[6]

Morreale stated that the CEBL would emphasize offering a "party wrapped around a basketball game" with "a ton of value for the fans" in order to attract spectators, including outdoor pre-game events, in-arena entertainment, autograph sessions, and other features.[6] The CEBL will, initially, operate as a single entity, with all teams owned by the league under individual general managers. However, the league may spin out its franchises to individual owners, or a single investor, in the future.[6]

In December 2018, the CEBL reached a five-year deal with New Era to be the official apparel provider of the league. The CEBL also reached an official agreement with Canada Basketball for it to be recognized as its first division professional league (in a league system akin to European competition); this endorsement also allows the CEBL access to resources from the governing body. Canada Basketball CEO Glen Grunwald stated that the league would provide an "exciting new product and a further development opportunity for Canadian players, coaches, referees, administrators and management types."[7][8] Due to this agreement, the league plays under the standard FIBA rules.[7]

In January 2019, the CEBL announced a three-year agreement with Spalding to be the official ball of the league.[9]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CEBL season was postponed, and conducted as a shortened tournament in a bio-secure bubble behind closed doors, branded as the CEBL Summer Series.[10] Beginning in the 2020 season, the CEBL adopted the Elam Ending—as recently popularized by The Basketball Tournament and the NBA All-Star Game—for all games, under which the game clock is turned off near the end of the fourth quarter, and teams play to a target score to determine the winner.[11]

In the 2021–22 season, the Edmonton Stingers represented Canada in the Basketball Champions League Americas (BCLA).[12]

Expansion[edit]

In November 2019, the Ottawa Blackjacks were announced as the league's first expansion team, and seventh overall, beginning in the 2020 season.[13]

In February 2021, Morreale announced that an expansion team in Montreal would be added no earlier than the 2022 season; due to COVID-19, no new expansion teams were added for the 2021 season.[14] Later in 2021, the Scarborough Shooting Stars,[15] the Montreal Alliance,[16] and the Newfoundland Growlers[17] were all announced as expansion teams for the 2022 season.

In November 2022, the league announced that the Winnipeg Sea Bears would join the CEBL beginning with the 2023 season, while the Newfoundland Growlers would be suspending operations. In August 2022, the league announced that the Guelph Nighthawks would be relocating to Calgary, Alberta as the Calgary Surge.

In August 2023, the CEBL Clash was played at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. It was an all-star game between top players from the Eastern and Western Conferences. The event was done in partnership with Gestev, a subsidiary of Quebecor Sports and Entertainment Group. Upon announcing the CEBL Clash, it was confirmed that Gestev is seriously considering support for an expansion team in Quebec City for 2024 based on the success of the event.[18] The CEBL Clash attracted over 7,000 spectators.[19] Another team in the West will join along with the unnamed Quebec City team to keep the conferences balanced.[20]

Teams[edit]

Current teams[edit]

Overview of Canadian Elite Basketball League teams
Conference Team City Venue Capacity Founded First season Head coach
Eastern Conference Brampton Honey Badgers Brampton, Ontario CAA Centre 5,000 2018 2023 Antoine Broxsie
Montreal Alliance Montreal, Quebec Verdun Auditorium 4,114 2021 2022 Derrick Alston Sr
Niagara River Lions St. Catharines, Ontario Meridian Centre 4,030 2015 2019 Victor Raso
Ottawa BlackJacks Ottawa, Ontario TD Place Arena 9,500 2019 2020 James Derouin
Scarborough Shooting Stars Scarborough, Ontario (Toronto) Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre 2,000 2021 2022 Chris Exilus
Western Conference Calgary Surge Calgary, Alberta Winsport Arena 2,900 2018 2023 Nelson Terroba
Edmonton Stingers Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton Expo Centre 4,857 2018 2019 Jordan Baker
Saskatchewan Rattlers Saskatoon, Saskatchewan SaskTel Centre lower bowl 5,898 2018 2019 Tanner Massey
Vancouver Bandits Langley, British Columbia Langley Events Centre 5,276 2017 2019 Kyle Julius
Winnipeg Sea Bears Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada Life Centre 15,321 2022 2023 Mike Taylor

Former teams[edit]

Former Canadian Elite Basketball League teams
Team City Founded First season Last season Defunct Reason
Guelph Nighthawks Guelph, Ontario 2018 2019 2022 2022 Relocated to Calgary after 2022 season
Newfoundland Growlers St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador 2021 2022 2022 2022 Folded after 2022 season
Hamilton Honey Badgers Hamilton, Ontario 2018 2019 2022 2022 Relocated to Brampton after 2022 season

Timeline[edit]

Champions[edit]

CEBL champions
Season Champion Runner-up
2019 Saskatchewan Rattlers Hamilton Honey Badgers
2020 Edmonton Stingers Fraser Valley Bandits
2021 Edmonton Stingers Niagara River Lions
2022 Hamilton Honey Badgers Scarborough Shooting Stars
2023 Scarborough Shooting Stars Calgary Surge

Organization[edit]

Executives[edit]

As of December 2019, league executives include:[21]

  • Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner
  • John Lashway, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Communications
  • Josh Knoester, Vice-President, League Operations
  • Joe Raso, Director, Basketball Operations

Players[edit]

The CEBL's main focus will be on showcasing and developing Canadian talent in basketball:[6] at least 70% of each team's roster must consist of Canadian players.[7] As it will be played over the spring and summer months, the CEBL also sought to attract players wanting to continue developing their game over the traditional offseason period.[6][7][22] Players were expected to be drawn from collegiate alumni (including U Sports and U.S. NCAA basketball), players with experience in other international leagues, as well as members of the Canadian national team.[23][7][24]

The salary cap is $8,000 per team per game.

Broadcasting[edit]

During the first season, games were primarily streamed on an in-house platform known as CEBL.tv; the league stated that it would provide the necessary means for each team to produce "a really good official and professional looking live stream that we can share without any kind of limitations to who can see it." The league considered the possibility of selling television rights to its championship to a traditional broadcaster.[25] On June 12, 2019, the CEBL announced that CBC Sports would stream all remaining games of the inaugural season on its digital platforms.[26] It subsequently announced in November 2019 that CBC Sports had agreed to a three-year deal, which will also see eight games (seven regular-season games and the championship game) per-season aired on CBC Television.[27]

For the 2020 season, the CEBL also began streaming games on Twitch. On August 7, the CEBL and Mediapro announced new rights deals in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions, such as Astro (Malaysia), Fox Sports Australia, SingTel, Sportscast (Taiwan), and TapGo (Philippines).[28]

A feature length documentary about the 2020 "Summer Series", produced by Ward 1 Studios, was broadcast May 29, 2021 on CBC.[29]

Ahead of the 2023 season, the CEBL announced a broadcast rights agreement with Bell Media. Games will air on TSN in English and RDS in French, with a "game of the week" package on TSN throughout the season, RDS particularly carrying Montreal Alliance games, and all games streaming on TSN+.[30][31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "New coast-to-coast Canadian pro basketball league announced". Sportsnet.ca. Rogers Media. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  2. ^ "#Holdcourt — Canadian Elite Basketball League". cebl.ca. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  3. ^ "CEBL - Canada Basketball Partnership". www.cebl.ca. Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  4. ^ Ewing, Lory (May 2, 2018). "Former CFLer Mike Morreale to head up Canadian Elite Basketball League". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Moddejonge, Gerry (November 27, 2019). "Edmonton Stingers get TV deal, right to host 2020 championship finals". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f McGaughey, Paul (May 15, 2018). "Canadian Elite Basketball League striving to be more than a 'shoestring business'". CBC Sports. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e Milton, Steve (2018-12-06). "CEBL joins Canada Basketball pyramid". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  8. ^ Hutton, Richard (2018-12-06). "CEBL partners with Canada Basketball, inks deal with New Era". NiagaraThisWeek.com. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  9. ^ Lehn, Don. "CEBL And Spalding Announce Three Year Partnership Agreement (VIDEO)". FVN. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  10. ^ "CEBL confirms July restart with tournament in St. Catharines". CBC Sports. 2020-06-25. Archived from the original on 2020-06-25. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  11. ^ "CEBL hopes target-score finish will create heroes every game". CBC Sports. 2020-07-09. Archived from the original on 2020-07-10. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  12. ^ "Edmonton Stingers To Represent Canada In International BCLA". www.cebl.ca. 2021-09-22. Retrieved 2022-05-31.
  13. ^ "Canadian Elite Basketball League to launch Ottawa franchise". Global News. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  14. ^ "CEBL headed to Montreal, expansion team to come in 2022". CBC Sports. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Scarborough Shooting Stars owners hope new CEBL team inspires next generation - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2022-05-31.
  16. ^ "Montreal Alliance hopes to ride pro basketball momentum in Quebec". montrealgazette. Retrieved 2022-05-31.
  17. ^ "Meet Newfoundland's new pro basketball team, the … Growlers? Yep, the Growlers". CBC.ca. November 26, 2021.
  18. ^ "Canadian Elite Basketball League's brightest stars to shine in the CEBL Clash in Québec City". Canadian Elite Basketball League. 8 June 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  19. ^ "Western Conference Edges East 107-102 in Inaugural CEBL Clash". Canadian Elite Basketball League. 26 August 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  20. ^ McGaughey, Paul (1 January 2024). "CEBL has Bigger, Bolder Vision with More Teams on the Way". Canadian Elite Basketball League. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  21. ^ "THIS IS CEBL". Canadian Elite Basketball League. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  22. ^ "Fraser Valley Bandits bringing pro basketball to the Abbotsford Centre". Langley Advance Times. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  23. ^ Zary, Darren (2019-01-24). "'I still have a lot left in the tank to coach': Ex-Huskies coach Greg Jockims named GM-coach of Saskatchewan Rattlers". Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  24. ^ March 25, Mark; Malone (2019-03-25). "Honey Badgers choose Rocca in first CEBL draft". The Observer. Retrieved 2019-04-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ "Canadian Round-Up: Canadians go head-to-head in the WNBL Finals, SGA's home debut and a chat with the CEO of the CEBL". NBA CA. Turner Sports. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  26. ^ "CEBL games will be live-streamed on CBC". StCatharinesStandard.ca. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  27. ^ "Year-old Canadian Elite Basketball League signs broadcast deal with CBC". Penticton Herald. 26 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  28. ^ "Mediapro secures five CEBL deals in APAC region ahead of finals weekend". SportBusiness. 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  29. ^ "Canadian Elite Basketball League's bubble season featured in new documentary". CBC News. 2021-05-29. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  30. ^ "TSN+ to Showcase All 2023 CEBL Games Live Starting May 24". CEBL.ca. 2023-05-16. Retrieved 2023-05-16.
  31. ^ "Canadian Elite Basketball League Announces Television Deal with TSN for 2023 Season". Complex. Retrieved 2023-05-25.

External links[edit]