TORONTO, June 10, 2021 – The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) confirmed today its 2021 regular season will tip off June 24 as the league had previously announced April 21. In preparing for the season, the CEBL developed a comprehensive return to play plan that prioritizes the safety of athletes, officials and staff. Approvals of the plan from public health and government stakeholders in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan have now been received, ensuring that the season will begin as scheduled.
“CEBL athletes, officials and staff are ecstatic to start our 2021 season. We are proud to demonstrate how sport can safely resume and lead the industry back to play,” says Mike Morreale, Commissioner & CEO, CEBL. “We expect to be among the first Canadian leagues to welcome fans back to our venues in the coming months. We hope to see investments from provincial and federal governments that matches the growing demand for basketball in Canada.”
The CEBL’s return to play plan builds on the success of the CEBL Summer Series, a single-site short season hosted in the summer of 2020 that saw the CEBL be the first professional sports league to safely resume play in Canada following the outbreak of the pandemic. 
Designed in collaboration with provincial public health officials and government stakeholders, the CEBL’s 2021 season will follow strict guidelines to mitigate risk. With a majority of Canadians vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and phased reopening plans well underway across the country, the CEBL hopes to welcome fans back to arenas this season. Fans will also be able to watch CEBL games live on CBC Television, and the CBC GEM app. 
“Basketball is played by people in every corner of the world. Every Canadian shares a common language in the sport. The CEBL’s players, coaches and fans are living examples of Canadian multiculturalism, unified by their love of basketball,” says Morreale. “We’re proud to showcase Canadian talent on the global stage.”
The 2021 season begins Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET in the nation’s capital as the Ottawa BlackJacks host the Niagara River Lions at TD Place. The Hamilton Honey Badgers take on the defending CEBL champion Edmonton Stingers in Edmonton on June 26 in a game that will be nationally televised on CBC starting at 2 p.m. CT. Fraser Valley hosts Saskatchewan that evening to complete the season’s opening weekend of action.
The CEBL is proudly Canadian with seven teams across the country and with the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in Canada. It provides home-grown athletes with the opportunity to represent their communities and pursue careers as professional basketball players, building a pipeline of talent for Canada’s national basketball program.
The CEBL is a community partner of its host cities, growing the sport of basketball and providing local jobs and development opportunities for Canadians as players, staff and officials. The demand for basketball in Canada is growing, and the future of Canada’s first domestic professional basketball league is bright. 

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