Saskatoon franchise joins new Canadian basketball league

CKOM News - 980 CJME - MAY 2, 2018

Basketball fans in the bridge city have a new reason to celebrate.

As the Raptors are in the midst of another NBA playoff push, a new professional basketball league in Canada is beginning to take shape.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced a Saskatoon-based franchise will be one of six teams to open its inaugural season in May 2019.

The league will be comprised of teams from Edmonton, Alta., Fraser Valley, B.C., Niagara, Ont., Guelph, Ont. and Hamilton, Ont.

The 20-game season will feature 10 home and away games during the summer with playoffs concluding in August.

Former CFL veteran Mike Morreale was appointed as CEO of the new league. After playing 12 years in the CFL as slotback, Morrealle went on to become president of the CFLPA.

“I am delighted to confirm our first six teams that will tip off one year from now in Canada’s newest pro basketball league next summer,” Morreale said after spending much of the last year recruiting front office staff.

“With basketball surging in popularity in Canada we focused on communities that are rich in grassroots community fan support and share a passion for fast-paced action.”

A Canadian Youth Sports Report cited in a CEBL press release showed basketball is the second most popular sport amongst Canadian youth next to soccer.

The league has SaskTel Centre set as the Saskatoon teams home.

Darrin Conway