By Wendell Maxey
Boxing Day in Canada can’t come soon enough. More than just another holiday, it is the one day circled on calendars by basketball fans from WFCU Centre in Windsor to Mary Brown’s Centre in Newfoundland.
Back in early April when the formation of the Basketball Super League (BSL) was officially announced at a press conference in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, the newly touted premium professional basketball league quickly drew fanfare, media attention, and a lot of interest from pro players in Canada and the United States aiming to take their game to the next level.
Since then, the BSL which was born out of a collaboration between the National Basketball League of Canada and The Basketball League, has taken shape to include six teams for the inaugural 2023 BSL season scheduled to tip-off on December 26: Kitchener-Waterloo Titans, London Lightning, Montreal Tundra, Newfoundland Rogues, Sudbury Five, and the Windsor Express. With both the NBLC and TBL concluding their respective 2023 seasons in May and June after the London Lightning (NBLC) and Potawatomi Fire (TBL) hoisted championship trophies over their heads, the past summer months have been a mixture of combines, preparation, and anticipation for the BSL to tip-off.
“We are starting this new premier product with 6 quality teams each in their own rite have made an impact on the game and with the game in their local communities. We have champions and markets that historically supported pro basketball and we have listened to our fans (especially in Canada) asking to see us play primarily in the winter months” David Magley President TBL
Modeled on the premiere professional soccer league in Europe and international basketball teams who compete in “Cup” leagues, BSL boasts larger venues with a minimum capacity of 2,500 and offers players the opportunity to earn higher wages. BSL also places fans at the forefront of experiencing top-level basketball for those people who live outside of NBA and NBA G-League markets. With BSL teams playing 34 games (20 at home and 14 on the road) and the regular season running through April followed by the BSL postseason, the 2023 BSL season has the makings to be a historic venture for the six organizations who are eager to get on the court.
Teams will also have the chance to evaluate talent first hand for the season with BSL holding a combine and draft in Orangeville, Ontario on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19 at the Athlete Institute home to Canada’s premier prep school, Orangeville Prep.
“This inaugural season will be 6 Canadian BSL teams along with games against many TBL teams. Look for news coming shortly with new sponsorship partners and a broadcast relationship as well as otger exciting pieces to this 1st season. Year 2 is expecting an expansion of 6 additional teams both in the USA & Canada.” Evelyn Magley CEO BSL