NIAGARA RIVER LIONS
The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced Monday that its June 12 exhibition game with the Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team in Hamilton has been postponed. The decision follows Sunday night’s announcement by the Canadian Olympic Committee that it will not be sending athletes to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Games because of the risks of COVID-19. No make-up date has been determined, and both Canada Basketball and the CEBL will work together to identify a date in the future to reschedule the game.
Canada Basketball will continue discussions with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as it relates to the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament scheduled to take place in Victoria, B.C. from June 23-28, 2020. Team Canada has been slated to battle Greece, China, Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey for the one remaining berth in the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The Northern Showcase has been planned as a tune-up for the Canadian National Team, which is led by NBA champion head coach Nick Nurse and a roster featuring several of Canada’s top players currently in the NBA. The CEBL roster will be made up of select players from the league’s Hamilton, Niagara and Ottawa franchises, and coached by Victor Raso, the CEBL Coach of the Year during its inaugural season in 2019.
Fans who have purchased tickets to the Northern Showcase will receive a full refund on their purchase through Ticketmaster.
The Northern Showcase would mark the first time since the 1994 FIBA World Championship at Copps Coliseum (not FirstOntario Centre) that Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team has played in Hamilton. The Hamilton Honey Badgers play 10 home dates at FirstOntario Centre. Their 2020 home schedule starts May 16 with a rematch of the inaugural season’s CEBL Championship game against Saskatchewan. The Northern Showcase also marks the first time since 1998 that current NBA players have played in Hamilton.
With seven teams across four provinces, the CEBL is the “Official First Division Professional League Partner of Canada Basketball”, adhering to official FIBA rules and regulations. The 2020 regular season tips off May 7 when the expansion Ottawa BlackJacks face off against the Fraser Valley Bandits. The CEBL is one of the only professional men’s basketball leagues in the world that runs during spring and summer.
Beginning this season, CBC Sports will live stream all 70 regular season CEBL games and its five playoff contests, plus eight over-the-air television broadcasts including the CEBL Championship game live from Edmonton on Aug. 16, 2020. The CEBL and CBC signed a three-year partnership last November.