Abbotsford/Niagra, Ontario – The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced Thursday that it will be holding its 2019 Entry Draft Reveal on March 23, 2019 in Hamilton, home of the Hamilton Honey Badgers.
Invitees will be present to witness top Canadian and international basketball players get announced into the CEBL through a reveal event that will unveil the picks made March 16 by the league’s teams during the closed door CEBL Entry Draft. The invite-only event, which will be held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, will also be live streamed internationally on CEBL.tv.
“Its an exciting time for our league as fans will get a first-hand look at the top players that will play in our inaugural season,” said Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer of the CEBL. “Team General Managers and other officials will be joined by celebrities and influencers, Canadian basketball officials, community leaders, media, and sponsors for a monumental night in the history of basketball in our country. This will be a unique event for a unique league, and one that can be experienced by people around the world through a live stream.”
The six CEBL clubs will hold the official 2019 Entry Draft on Saturday, March 16 with each club phoning in their picks to the league office from their respective draft headquarters. All selections will be held in confidence until the March 23 reveal event to enable the league to put together a robust program for live streaming that will include in-depth analysis of picks by media experts, video highlights, statistics, and other elements that will educate and entertain fans of the CEBL. Further information about the live stream will be available at a later date.
The order of the draft will be determined by a blind draw and announced publicly on Wednesday, March 6 at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Once the draft order has been determined the 13-round draft will follow a snake format, with teams selecting one through six in Round One followed by sixth through first in Round Two and so forth.
The CEBL, the official professional league partner of Canada Basketball, opens its inaugural season in May with franchises in Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, Fraser Valley (Abbotsford), 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.
CEBL rosters will be predominantly comprised Canadians playing professionally during the traditional basketball season, as well as a number of international and U SPORTS players. The 2019 Entry Draft will consist of 11 rounds, followed immediately by a two-round U SPORTS draft. The breakdown of rounds will be as follows:
Round 1-4: Canadian Regional Rounds
The first four rounds of the draft will have a regional focus as all CEBL teams will select only top players from their respective regions, allowing each team to have a nucleus of players from their own region. The three eastern clubs must select players based in Ontario and east, while the three western clubs must select players from Manitoba to the west.
Round 5-11: General Draft Rounds
Commencing with Round Five, the draft will open up for all teams to select players from any region of the world.
Round 12 – 13: The U SPORTS Draft
The rising stars of tomorrow – these rounds will see teams select emerging Canadian basketball talent actively playing at U SPORTS programs across Canada
“There is no dearth of talent when it comes to basketball in this country,” said Joe Raso, Director of Basketball Operations, CEBL. “Thanks to the league making key partnerships with Canada Basketball and U SPORTS, I am extremely excited to see how our rosters take shape as the CEBL becomes an elite platform for the development of the sport in this country”.
More information about the CEBL may be obtained at www.cebl.ca.