Saskatoon is a year away from having a fourth professional basketball team playing out of SaskTel Centre.
The Canadian Elite Basketball League announced its formation Wednesday morning. The C-E-B-L intends to start play next May with six teams…in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Fraser Valley, B-C in the West along with a trio of Ontario clubs based out of Hamilton, Guelph and Niagara Falls. The latter centre will be home to the league offices. Former C-F-L player Mike Morreale is the C-E-O with former Saskatchewan Rush president Lee Genier as the President and C-O-O of Western Operations.
“There really is a void that exists (in Canada compared with) other populated countries (who) are thriving with these big international basketball leagues,” explained Morreale when asked where the idea for the C-E-B-L came from.
Previously, Saskatoon was home to the Saskatchewan Storm of the World Basketball League (1991-92), the Saskatoon Slam of the National Basketball League (1993) and the Saskatchewan Hawks of the International Basketball Association (2000-2001).
“From whatever (has) happened in the past, that was a long time ago,” said Genier. “Things have certainly evolved immensely from the fan perspective. You look at what’s been done in the last few years just in Saskatoon alone and you have some rabid fans there.”
The C-E-B-L intends on playing 20 games in a season with single-elimination playoffs, running from May through August. Rosters will be 12 players with games running 40 minutes with four, 10-minute quarters and using F-I-B-A, international rules.