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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Steven Powell is extremely grateful for the help staff and store owners at Valley Fair Mall have provided. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Community rallies to replace disabled man’s stolen trike

Steven Powell’s work mates are raising funds to purchase him a new set of wheels

Maureen Jeknavorian explored Kanaka Creek Regional Park recently. (Special to The News)
SHARE: The big skies of Kanaka Creek Regional Park

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

A finished poster promoting a fish ladder along the Alouette River. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge students promote fish ladder in bus stops

Posters by students of the Environmental School to run in bus stops across the city

Darlene and her son, Nolan, share time with a book. To protect his health, Nolan is not able to visit the library branch but the many services it offers allows the family to access materials at home. (FVRL/Special to The News)
COLUMN: Maple Ridge library branch has been a lifeline for many during pandemic

Did you know FVRL library cards are free to local residents?

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read