Saskatchewan Rattlers unveiled as name of new pro-basketball team

Canada Live NewS - JULY 4, 2018

The Canadian Elite Basketball League, a new league, unveiled the teams name and logo at a news conference in the city on Tuesday.

The reception has been tremendous since discussions began to bring a Canadian Elite Basketball League team to Saskatoon, Lee Genier, the president and chief operating officer for CEBLs western operations, said in a statement. Genier previously spent two years running the Saskatchewan Rush, a National Lacrosse League team based in Saskatoon.

The Rattlers will deliver an entertainment experience second to none, and Im confident we can replicate the incredible support the Rush received when I led their introduction to the city. Fans will see the highest caliber of basketball in Canada outside of the Toronto Raptors, and an electric atmosphere that will have them returning game after game.

The Rattlers, who will play out of the SaskTel Centre, will compete against five other teams. Edmonton, Hamilton, Niagara, Guelph and Fraser Valley will also have teams.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League unveiled the Saskatchewan Ratters as the name of the new team to be based in Saskatoon on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Moses Woldu/CTV Saskatoon)

The Saskatchewan Rattlers. Thats the name of a new pro-basketball team to be based in Saskatoon.

When the newly dubbed Saskatchewan Rattlers pro basketball team tips off nearly a year from now, its players will be wearing colours people in the province are familiar with — green.

It will be one of the country's six original teams in the newly formed Canadian Elite Basketball League, with play starting in May of 2019 and the season taking place during the summer months.

The league says the Rattlers logo shows the prairie rattlesnake, a venomous breed that resides in the province and is listed as an endangered species.

The league unveiled the team's name and logo on Tuesday, sticking with a similar colour scheme to the Rush lacrosse team. While the Rush's logo is green and black, the Rattlers' is green, beige and white.

The Rattlers plan to duplicate the "rock concert" feel of Rush games, with guidance from Lee Genier, who was the founding president of the Rush franchise in Saskatchewan.

At a news conference in Saskatoon, league CEO Mike Morreale and Genier, who is the league's western president and operating officer, revealed more details behind what people can expect to see at the games.

The league will speed up play from the typical 15-minute quarter to 10-minute quarters. Morreale said the teams will be comprised of between 60 and 70 per cent Canadian players.

"We have to take advantage of this and seize this moment in Canada basketball. Too often our players, our really good players, have to go elsewhere to get their professional fix. We would like to keep them here," Morreale said.

The team will play by FIBA rules, which is played around the world with the NBA as the only exception, he said.

The team is a corporate-owned entity that owns the league and all teams. This is a purposeful decision that will make sure the team is in Saskatoon to stay, Morreale said.

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Darrin Conway