Mike Morreale says the significance of the Brampton Honey Badgers’ participation within the Basketball Champions League Americas is easy.
“We want extra basketball within the nation,” Morreale mentioned.
Morreale, the co-founder and commissioner of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), was in Queretaro City, Mexico on Thursday, forward of the primary window of the group stage of the BCLA, a world competitors that brings collectively 12 groups from seven international locations.
The Honey Badgers are representing Canada because the reigning CEBL league champion.
The Champions League group stage suggestions off Friday when the Honey Badgers play host Libertadores de Queretaro. They play Nicaraguan champions Real Esteli on Saturday.
“I do know we’re in for a troublesome matchup,” Morreale mentioned. “I do know that the Mexican and Nicaraguan groups are stacked with nationwide crew gamers from their respective international locations and likewise with high-level imports. We have an important crew this yr, we have now top-quality Canadians who’ve Canada nationwide crew expertise.
“With that mentioned, problem accepted, on Friday and Saturday, with all on the road and one of the best curiosity of basketball in [Canada], we’re excited to give you the chance to do what we do on the worldwide degree.”
WATCH | Honey Badgers win 2022 CEBL title:
‘BCLA is extraordinarily essential for Canadian basketball’
The BCLA sees groups from South and Central America together with Canada’s nationwide champion competing over the course of 4 months for a berth within the 2024 FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
The Honey Badgers, assigned to Group A, will play a second window subsequent month, after they journey to Managua, Nicaragua to play Libertadores on Jan. 17 and residential crew Real Esteli on Jan. 18.
“Without a doubt, the BCLA is extraordinarily essential for Canadian basketball,” mentioned Honey Badgers GM Jermaine Anderson. “For one, it offered an added layer of credibility for the CEBL. It is offering coaches and gamers with an understanding of the FIBA sport. And extra importantly, it is offering a possibility for gamers to acquire worldwide expertise and to acquire entry to numerous markets in South America.
“For me personally, simply having the ability to assemble a crew is a blessing and I’m trying ahead to the chance.”
Mixed group of gamers
The Honey Badgers’ roster for the BCLA is a blended group of gamers from numerous CEBL groups, together with seven Canadians who performed on CEBL groups this previous season. All-CEBL guard Alex Campbell and Murphy Burnatowski, who each had been a part of the Edmonton Stingers’ BCLA roster final season, in addition to 6-11 centre Jordy Tshimanga (Saskatchewan Rattlers) are among the many headliners.
With Honey Badgers coach Ryan Schmidt unavailable due to his teaching obligations with the London Lions of the British Basketball League, Sheldon Cassimy will function head coach.
At the tip of the BCLA group stage, the highest two-ranked groups in every of the 4 teams meet within the quarter-finals to decide who will play within the Final 4. The 2023 BCLA champion earns a berth within the 2024 FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
The Honey Badgers are the second CEBL crew to signify Canada in Champions League motion. The 2021 CEBL champion Edmonton Stingers competed final season in opposition to Real Esteli and Congrejeros of Puerto Rico, ending the group stage tied for first, however failing to transfer on based mostly on head-to-head level differential.
- Alex Campbell, guard — Brampton, Ont.
- David Nesbitt, ahead — Freeport, Bahamas
- Gelvis Solano, guard — New York
- Jahvon Henry-Blair, guard — Brampton, Ont.
- Jaylen Babb-Harrison, guard — Ajax, Ont.
- Jordan Williams, guard — Dallas
- Jordy Tshimanga, centre — Montreal
- Joshua Ibarra, centre — Angleton, Texas
- Murphy Burnatowski, ahead — Kitchener, Ont.
- Sean Miller-Moore, guard — Brampton, Ont.
- Stefan Smith, guard — Ajax, Ont.