Meet Newfoundland’s new professional basketball team, the… Growlers? Yes, the Growlers – .

Meet Newfoundland’s new professional basketball team, the… Growlers? Yes, the Growlers – .

Left to right: Canadian Elite Basketball League Commissioner Mike Morreale, Memorial University President Vianne Timmons and Deacon Sports and Entertainment owner Dean McDonald announce the arrival of the Newfoundland Growlers Basketball Club Friday. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

The owners of the Newfoundland Growlers move from the hockey rink to the basketball court in 2022, launching a new team in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

The league, along with team owner Deacon Sports and Entertainment, announced Friday that the Newfoundland Growlers Basketball Club will be the league’s 10th franchise and will play at Memorial University’s Field House in St. John’s from may.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League began playing in 2019 and has grown into the largest fully-Canadian based professional sports league.

“I think you’re going to see an amazing brand of basketball. This league is so exciting, ”Growlers owner Dean MacDonald said on Friday.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League was launched in 2019. The Edmonton Stingers have won back-to-back CEBL Championships. (Ian Kucerak/CEBL)

MacDonald said the basketball team will use the same name and logo as the hockey team because Deacon has built a strong Growlers brand, and the decision will allow the organization to expand the programs. basketball team and charities.

“When you walk into a league and you have to talk to the leaders of the league about what your logo will be and what your brands will be, it was a two minute conversation, I think,” he said. -he declares.

MacDonald said the team is not affiliated with St. John’s Edge of the National Basketball League of Canada, which is on hiatus after being unable to find a home to play this year. MacDonald had tried to buy the team, but the deal was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the Newfoundland Rogues, St. John’s other fledgling basketball team, will begin their home season at Mary Brown’s Center on Saturday.

The country house will be improved

League Commissioner Mike Morreale said the league is excited to come to Newfoundland, making the league a true experience from coast to coast.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” he said. “The players who come to honor this floor, starting in May, will be some of the best players this country has produced, with some of the best import players at our disposal. “

He said the location also made the experience special because of the league’s connection to the national USports program. CEBL teams are mandated to include places on the varsity roster, and a place for Growler will be reserved for a graduate of the MUN basketball program.

The Newfoundland Growlers Basketball Club will be on the court in May. (Growlersbball/Twitter)

As part of the deal to play at the sports complex, Deacon will donate $ 75,000 per year to the university’s athletics department to fund scholarships and athletic awards. The contract also shares revenue from food and beverage sales, according to MacDonald.

The sports complex will also be upgraded to improve the atmosphere for basketball, said MacDonald, who expects the team to draw around 2,500 fans per game. Land use will not affect the Memorial Sea-Hawks schedule, as the league plays in the spring and summer.

The team has a three-year contract with the university.

“The ability to work with the university and give back to the university through scholarships and fundraising for the athletic program here is like a double bonus,” MacDonald said.

“Bringing more basketball fans to our facilities is a way for more members of our community to come to campus and feel that sense of belonging. It’s a community university, ”Memorial President Vianne Timmons said on Friday.

I always wanted to play at home, and this kind of construction goes further. – Cole Long

The move is a big step for basketball in the province, said Sea-Hawks star Cole Long.

The St. John’s native is a fifth-year player for the Sea-Hawks and was drafted into the CEBL by the Guelph Nighthawks in 2021, but missed the season with the team due to injury.

A free slot for a local player presents a tremendous opportunity, said Long, whose 21 points per game made him one of Atlantic Canada’s top 10 scorers in 2020.

The Memorial Sea-Hawks Center and Cole Long, a native of St. John’s, say the team’s arrival presents a unique opportunity for local basketball players. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

” It’s very exciting. I’ve always wanted to play at home, and that kind of build boosts motivation even more. … I think that sort of opens up a path for the next generation, ”he said.

“I think it will bring everyone in sport together and create new opportunities for everyone. “

Read more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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