The Canadian Elite Basketball League debuts at the Abbotsford Centre in May 2019.

Pro basketball coming to Fraser Valley

CEBL set to tip-off in May 2019

Professional basketball is heading to Abbotsford in one year’s time.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League will feature six teams from all across Canada playing a 20-game schedule.

The Abbotsford-based team, referred to as the Fraser Valley professional basketball team in the league plans, will play out of the Abbotsford Centre.

The CEBL season will begin in May, with a playoff and championship series concluding the season in August.

The Abbotsford franchise was originally announced back in November, and was the second team added to the league. Teams are also located in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Guelph, Niagara and Hamilton.

Mike Morreale, the CEO for the CEBL, said expanding to Abbotsford made a lot sense for the league.

“Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley was an attractive area for us,” he said. “It’s close to Vancouver but also has it’s own identity. Also, the Abbotsford Centre is a great venue and the management team there has done a great job bringing their own events to that arena so we know we’re working with partners who do good things.”

Morreale said the 20-game format will ensure that every game is important and allow the league to stick to a summer schedule.

All six teams will play in one division for the league’s inaugural season, with the top four teams competing in single elimination playoff games to determine the CEBL champion.

Morreale said the number of games and playoff format will likely change if and when the league expands to include more teams. He said there is interest in additional markets in B.C., but it has to make sense.

“We’re always interested in other markets but Abbotsford is a great first market for B.C. with a rich grassroots basketball program and the Fraser Valley really includes markets like Surrey, Chilliwack, Langley and Mission,” he said.

Within the next two to four months it’s expected that a name the team campaign will begin and the Fraser Valley franchise will hire a director of operations. The club will have permanent office space at the Abbotsford Centre and will also be hiring sales and marketing employees.

As far as Canadian content goes, Morreale said he expects a significant amount of Canadian talent to hit the floor.

“Some spots will be reserved for Canadians but we also have a ton of international players that want to play here but can’t during the international season,” he said. “Which is another reason why we moved to the spring and summer schedule, it frees up some of that talent to play here. And it also allows a Canadian player to come home and make some money during the summer.”

Morreale said the league and the Fraser Valley franchise will be making continued announcements over the next year including ticket prices, logo and team colours, coaching and roster news.

For more on the league, visit cebl.ca.

Just Posted

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

LETTER: Langley letter writer takes jabs at mayor’s jersey choice

A sports fan chides Langley City’s mayor for sporting an Oilers jersey in Canucks country.

LETTER: Local Liberal MP challenges letter writer’s facts on immigration

The local MP makes the distinction between asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees.

Dr. Keith Lamont, founder of Langley Community Music School, passed away at age 89

Dr. Keith Lamont’s funeral service is on Jan. 20 at the Langley Community Music School

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Most Read