Before the start of the 2021 CEBL Summer Series, the Stingers announced potentially their biggest signing of the year with the signing of former Saskatchewan Rattler Marlon Johnson. Johnson was coming off an incredible season where he was a CEBL All Star, Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, and of course, CEBL Champion. Many suspected Johnson would return to the Rattlers to be the face of the franchise. Johnson had other plans, and he shockingly announced he would sign with the Stingers. The excitement around Johnson joining CEBL All Stars Xavier Moon, Travis Daniels and Jordan Baker was abuzz. Johnson said he was most excited to play with reigning MVP Xavier Moon. But things didn’t exactly go as planned for the Stingers.
When the CEBL season was delayed due to COVID-19, players in the CEBL were dropping like flies. Marlon Johnson was one of those players. Just before the CEBL season started, Marlon Johnson decided to sign to play with a team in “The Big Tournament”, the first basketball league or tournament to resume play out of the pandemic. Johnson showed up with impressive might, and quickly became the talk of the basketball world due to his impressive dunking ability and versatility. The plan for Johnson was to wrap up the season in Columbus, and join the Stingers, potentially missing the first game due to quarantine laws. But Johnson’s plan never came to fruition.
Right before the season began, Stingers Coach/GM Jermaine Small and Marlon Johnson received the news that the league would not allow Johnson to play for the Stingers unless he was able to arrive in time for the training camp. Johnson’s team advanced too far in TBT to make it in time for the CEBL, so Johnson had to sit it out. Johnson reportedly was quite upset with this decision, and even contemplated not returning to the CEBL. Ultimately, Jermaine Small reached out to Johnson and eventually, they agreed to sign Johnson back to the Stingers.
After all this, we have Marlon Johnson on the Stingers roster. Over a full year after initially signing with the Stingers, we will finally get to see Johnson in a Stingers uniform. Johnson is a multi-level threat who will potentially be the most valuable player on the Stingers on the defensive end. He will be an incredible asset to this team. “I returned because I didn’t get a chance to come play last year with (the Stingers)” said Johnson. “My role is to play my role and adjust to everyone around me… focus and belief will make (me) very effective”.