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

Langley rep fastpitch squad goes 8-0 in White Rock tourney

The Fraser Valley Fusion 2006 rep A team took top honours in the Pride and Power Tournament.

Langley rally Saturday gives voice to Kinder Morgan pipeline supporters

Pro-pipeline speakers from Chilliwack confirmed for the Langley rally.

Crime Briefs: Langley Mounties seek suspects

Police are looking for a bank fraudster, among others.

Three arrested in Aldergrove stabbing

Downtown areas cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape, under police watch

Langley crash and fire Thursday evening temporarily closes Highway 1

One person was airlifted from the scene east of 232nd Street.

VIDEO: AOK took Langley home and ‘made it amazing’

Volunteers did two weeks of repairs and retrofitting to make the Adam family house safe and livable.

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Get fit on Fitness Day

Township celebrates national Health and Fitness Day on June 2

Watoto Children’s Choir tour returns to Langley

Watoto Children’s Choir returns to Canada with ‘Signs & Wonders’ musical production

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Most Read