NBL Canada Returns to Play

National Basketball League of Canada. Photo John Barnes - In Play! magazine
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NBL Canada Returns to Celebrate 10th Season With Inter-League Play

The National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) has announced its return to the court for its 10th season on Feb 5, 2022 for the first time since the sports world shut down in March of 2020.

As part of the 10th season celebration, NBL Canada will partner with The Basketball League (TBL) to feature inter-league contests between the two leagues.

“After a longer than expected off season, it feels great to be able to officially announce that we’re back on the court for our 10th season. I really want to thank our incredible fanbase for their support and continued understanding as we navigated through some difficult moments of uncertainty. We’re pleased about the partnership formed with the TBL and view it as a creative way to celebrate our tenth season. The job that Evelyn and David Magley have done in growing the TBL is outstanding and it’s an absolute pleasure to work alongside them again.”

Vice president of basketball operations, Audley Stephenson

TBL president and former NBL Canada commissioner, David Magley said, ” It is an honor and privilege to work with our old friends from NBL Canada as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. As a league we are celebrating our fifth season and as such have a healthy respect for what the NBLC has accomplished. For our clubs, they are thrilled to compete against these great teams and are excited for the exposure these events will bring for both leagues.”

The London Lightning, Windsor Express, Sudbury Five and Kitchener-Waterloo Titans will compete in a 24 game regular season schedule which will feature a total of 24 games played against TBL teams.

The tentative list of participating TBL teams are as follows:

  • Flint United
  • Lansing Pharaohs
  • Jamestown Jackals
  • Kokomo Bobkats
  • Syracuse Stallions
  • Albany Patroons

All wins and losses will be counted in individual records and teams will compete for their respective league championships at the end of the regular season.

Full schedule and playoff format will be released on November 8, 2021.

This will be a historic season for NBL Canada; it will be the first season in which regular-season contests will be played against another professional league, although the NBLC has played exhibition contests against Raptors 905 in the NBA Gatorade League. This will also be the first season in which NBL Canada teams will play against American-based professional basketball squads, in a partnership between the top two independent professional basketball leagues outside of the NBA in North America.

NBL Canada Looks to Rebuild the Atlantic Division

When the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) launches its 10th season on February 5, 2022, it will do so without any of the four teams from the Maritimes and only be represented by clubs from Ontario.

• On August 12, 2021, the Moncton Magic announced that they would no longer continue playing in the league and elected to withdraw from play;

• Following that on October 7, 2021 the Halifax Hurricanes announced that it would also withdraw from NBL Canada and no longer play as well;

• The St. John’s Edge will not be participating in the 10th season due to the fact that the club was unable to secure an appropriate venue to play their home games from and will take a leave of absence.

St. John’s inability to play coupled with the departure of the Moncton Magic and Halifax Hurricanes leaves the Island Storm, who were intending on playing this season as the only remaining team in the Atlantic Division.

Playing as the only team in the Maritimes with no other regional opponents makes it cost-prohibitive and therefore the Storm organization has made the difficult decision of also taking a one-year leave of absence. The league intends on using that time to re-build the Atlantic Division.

Island Storm owner Duncan Shaw said, “Coming from the perspective of one of the league’s NBL founding teams, the situation in the Maritimes is regrettable, however the Storm organization is in full support of the league proceeding and is excited that NBL Canada will celebrate its 10th season in an innovative partnership with the TBL and I look forward to participating as a partner and director in the league this season and be back the following year with new owners and teams in the Maritimes.”

Vice president of basketball operations, Audley Stephenson added, “Its time to shift our attention on moving forward so that we can rebuild the Atlantic Division to make it even better than what it was.”

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