By Avry Lewis-McDougall
CEBL fans across the country have been waiting patiently for the announcement of a 2021 schedule and today, they they got their wish. This morning, the CEBL formally announced the schedule for this summer’s campaign which will see teams return to their home markets. The 2020 season was one that saw all seven teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic move to St. Catherines, Ontario for a bubble season that was dubbed the 2020 CEBL Summer Series.
The third season, will see the schedule pushed back from a May to start to a June start to allow the possibility of fan attendance. The season will also be cut down from 20 to 14 games. The reduction of the schedule is to allow most players to report to their international clubs by September.
2021 will also mark the long awaited return of the defending CEBL champs in the form of the Edmonton Stingers to the Edmonton Expo Centre.
CBC will also carry games on TV with four Stingers games being on the national TV schedule. The season opener against the Fraser Valley Bandits will kick off the 2021 CEBL CBC schedule on June 5th. The rest of the games will be aired on cbcsports.ca and CBC Gem.
The first home game back at the Expo Center will also be against Fraser Valley on June 10th.
2021 will also mark the first time that the six original teams in the league will get a chance to welcome the Ottawa Blackjacks to their arenas.
The 2020 bubble campaign relocation pushed back Ottawa’s debut at home to this year. Ottawa will take on the Stingers for the first time outside of the bubble on July 5th in Edmonton.
The final game of the regular season for the Stingers be on August 5th against Fraser Valley. Championship Weekend which was originally awarded to Edmonton for the 2020 campaign will remain in Edmonton for 2021.
The Stingers will also welcome back to the roster for their third season such names as hometown boy Jordan Baker, Mathieu Kamba and two time CEBL Player Of The Year, Xavier Moon. The man known as X led the CEBL Summer Series in scoring with 19.5 points per game and also assists with 4.5 per game. Head coach Jermaine Small will also return to the sidelines for the Stingers.
The Ontario native has shown himself to be one of the best coaches in the short history of the CEBL during his tenure after taking over the reigns mid season in 2019 from Barnaby Craddock.
The appetite for the CEBL is still strong in Canada as it has a future that could see more expansion coming in 2022 and beyond. To see this league getting ready for a third season is something that’s nothing but a win for Canadian basketball as a whole.