Nighthawks draw third pick of inaugural CEBL draft

GUELPH – The Guelph Nighthawks will pick third in the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s inaugural entry draft.

The league held a lottery draw Wednesday night in its offices to decide the order of selection for its first draft which is to be held March 16.

The Fraser Valley Bandits, Guelph’s scheduled first opponent, will have the first overall pick in the 13-round draft.

The draft will follow a snake format, giving the Nighthawks the third and 10th overall picks.

The first four rounds of the draft are designated as Canadian regional rounds. During those rounds teams can only pick players from their respective territories. The Nighthawks, Hamilton Honey Badgers and Niagara River Lions must pick players with ties to eastern Canada while the Edmonton Stingers, Fraser Valley and Saskatchewan Rattlers must select players from western Canada. The league uses the Ontario-Manitoba border as the border between eastern and western Canada.

Rounds five to 11 are general draft rounds where any player in the world is eligible to be drafted.

The final two rounds are for the drafting of players currently playing U Sports hoops. The Nighthawks will select fourth and ninth in that segment of the draft.

“I think the fun begins now as coaches, GMs and presidents have their work cut out to assemble a winning roster”, CEBL Chief Executive Officer Mike Morreale said in a news release. “Key league partnerships with Canada Basketball and U Sports are only going to help them in this process, and personally I cannot wait to see the 78 players these teams select.”

“While each of the six teams had hopes of selecting with the first overall pick in the opening round of the CEBL Entry Draft, only one could be granted the rare opportunity of drafting the first player into the CEBL,” said Nighthawks president Cameron Kusch. “Truthfully, with a snake format to the inaugural CEBL Entry Draft, selecting in the middle of each round will actually best position the Nighthawks for success on draft day. (GM and head coach) Tarry (Upshaw) and his coaching staff have committed to building a high-energy team that plays an up-tempo and exciting brand of basketball. In doing so he has placed a premium on Canadian talent as he builds the identity of our inaugural team.”

The Nighthawks are to begin their season May 9 against Fraser Valley at Abbotsford, B.C.

Guelph’s first home game is set for May 11 against Saskatchewan at the Sleeman Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.


  • Guelph Sports Journal