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Men’s Basketball

Friesen selected first overall, 38 U SPORTS players picked in Canadian Elite Basketball League inaugural season Entry Draft

U SPORTS Staff

Former Alberta and Fraser Valley guard Joel Friesen was selected first overall

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. 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 before launching his professional career in 2015. Friesen was one of 38 U SPORTS players selected that have suited up for 21 different schools across the country – including five of six picks in the first regional round.

 “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.

“This is going to give our Canadian based student-athletes in basketball a real opportunity to continue to play at an elite level,” said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown. “Now with the CEBL, you can pursue both during the offseason and when your schooling is done, opportunities beyond U SPORTS basketball.”

From players who have represented Canada Basketball to rising talents from current U SPORTS programs, below is a breakdown of all the players that were drafted into the CEBL.

Regional Rounds

The first four rounds of the draft had a regional focus as CEBL teams selected players from their respective territories, allowing each team to have a nucleus of players from its own region.

Open Rounds

Commencing with Round Five, the draft opened up for all teams to select players from any region of the world. The following were the players drafted by each team in the open rounds.

U SPORTS Rounds

The rising stars of tomorrow – these rounds saw teams select emerging Canadian basketball talent currently playing in U SPORTS programs across Canada.

By The Numbers

The CEBL Entry Draft saw prominent athletes being picked from several world class leagues and university programs. Below is a summary of where these athletes came from.