New elite circuit makes a groundbreaking agreement Thursday with Canada Basketball
A partnership that makes sense on so many levels has developed in Canadian basketball that cannot only help the game overall but also individual players, officials and coaches.
The fledgling Canadian Elite Basketball League — a six-team, May-to-August circuit that kicks off next year — has signed a partnership deal with Canada Basketball that will have an impact on the oncourt product in myriad ways.
The league — with three teams in southern Ontario, one in Saskatoon, another in Edmonton and one based in Abbotsford, B.C. — will play under FIBA rules; have a symbiotic relationship with Canada Basketball that will help fill the expected 70-per-cent Canadian roster requirement with familiar names and local players; and work officially hand-in-hand not only with the national governing body but also its global overseers.
“I think a lot of it is validation,” Mike Morreale, chief executive officer of the CEBL, said at a news conference in Hamilton on Thursday. “I think it’s a real opportunity for us as a league that hasn’t tipped off yet. … We recognize how important this is.”
The most important aspect of the agreement has to do with the ties among the CEBL, Canada Basketball and FIBA as the first so-called Division 1 league in Canada to be affiliated with the worldwide organization.
Standardized player contracts and movement, rules, officiating standards, transferable discipline and the legitimacy bestowed on the new league are significant.
“We’re helping the sport of basketball, and that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” said Glen Grunwald, CEO of Canada Basketball.