The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) revealed all the top talent that was drafted by the league’s six teams in its first ever Entry Draft on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Hamilton, ON. The draft reveal took place at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in front of media, sports and lifestyle influencers, prominent basketball personalities and executives.
The Fraser Valley Bandits had the first overall pick in the regional rounds and selected 6-foot-5 guard Joel Friesen, a Fraser Valley native who played for the University of the Fraser Valley and the University of Alberta (U Sports) before launching his professional career in 2015.
Rayvon Higdon, a former forward/guard with the Redeemer Royals of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) was selected by the Niagara River Lions.
Higdon is a three-time Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) All-Canadian.
University of Saskatchewan (U Sports) products Michael Linklater and Shane Osayande, who were selected by the Saskatchewan Rattlers, also have ties to the CCAA. Linklater and Osayande are former student-athletes of Lakeland College and suited up for the Rustlers in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).
“It gives me immense pleasure to see such amazing talent represent the league and its six teams,” said Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer of the CEBL. “Congratulations to all the players who got drafted – it’s a historic time for a Canadian basketball fan.”
The CEBL, the official professional league partner of Canada Basketball, opens its inaugural season in May with franchises in Fraser Valley (Abbotsford), Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), and Niagara (St. Catharines). CEBL teams will play a 20-game regular season from May 9 to August 15, culminating with a league championship playoff at a site to be announced.