Niagra/Abbotsford – The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced the results of its lottery draw that has determined the order of selection for the 2019 CEBL Entry Draft and U SPORTS Draft, which will be held Saturday, March 23. The draw took place in the offices of the CEBL on Wednesday and was witnessed by the presidents of each team.
The closed door Entry Draft took place on March 16, and will precede the CEBL’s reveal event, which will take place on Saturday, March 23 in Hamilton, Ont.
The Fraser Valley Bandits have won the first overall pick in the 2019 CEBL Entry Draft and will lead off the 11-round CEBL Entry Draft. The draft will follow a snake format, meaning teams will select one through six, then in inverse order through each subsequent round. Following the 11th round, a two-round U SPORTS Draft including both graduating and returning university players will be held. By virtue of selecting last in the opening round of the CEBL Entry Draft, the Niagara River Lions hold the first pick in the U SPORTS draft.
“I think the fun begins now as coaches, GMs, and presidents have their work cut out to assemble a winning roster”, said Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer of the CEBL. “Key league partnerships with Canada Basketball and U SPORTS are only going to help them in this process, and personally I cannot wait to see the 78 players these teams select.”
The draft order for the first round of the CEBL Entry Draft is as follows:
1st pick: Fraser Valley Bandits
2nd pick: Edmonton Stingers
3rd Pick: Guelph Nighthawks
4th pick: Saskatchewan Rattlers
5th pick: Hamilton Honey Badgers
6th pick: Niagara River Lions
“It’s exciting for the Bandits and our fans that we are in a position to select the first player ever selected in a CEBL Entry Draft,” said Lee Genier, President of the Fraser Valley Bandits. “Our basketball staff has invested a tremendous amount of time scouting the top Canadian and international talent that will make up our inaugural season roster. Our organization is off to an outstanding start building our identity across the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland regions of British Columbia. The addition of talented players who will also be active contributors to the community will enhance our efforts even more.”
The CEBL, the official professional league partner of Canada Basketball, opens its inaugural season in May with franchises in Fraser Valley (Abbotsford), Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, 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.
Team rosters will be predominantly comprised of Canadians playing professionally during the traditional basketball season, as well as a number of international and U SPORTS players. The 2019 CEBL Entry Draft and U SPORTS draft will be structured as follows:
Round 1-4: Canadian Regional Rounds
The first four rounds of the draft will have a regional focus as CEBL teams will select only players from their respective territories, allowing each team to have a nucleus of players from its own region. Guelph, Hamilton, and Niagara must select players with specific ties to Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Edmonton, Fraser Valley, and Saskatchewan must select players from Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia as well as the three territories, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
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 in U SPORTS programs across Canada
More information about the CEBL may be obtained at www.cebl.ca