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New professional basketball franchise unveilled in Ottawa

The Canadian Elite Basketball League is adding a team in the nation's capital.
2019-11-20 Ottawa Blackjacks
Ottawa BlackJacks logo. Photo/ Ottawa BlackJacks

The Ottawa BlackJacks are the newest franchise in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).

The league, which considers itself Canada's only first division basketball league, announced a multi-year agreement with TD Place to host the team, Wednesday.

The BlackJacks are the first expansion franchise for the CEBL, which saw its inaugural season played this year. The league's other teams are based in Edmonton, Guelph, Fraser Valley, Hamilton, Niagara and Saskatchewan. 

"Ottawa/Gatineau and the surrounding area has a history of basketball excellence. The game was invented in Almonte," said CEBL CEO and Commissioner Mike Morreale. "We look forward to bringing a family-oriented, basketball and entertainment experience to the Arena at TD Place. This relationship ensures the sustainability of the team and delivers another club for the legion of sports fans in the Ottawa area to rally behind."

The BlackJacks inaugural 2020 season schedule will be released on November 26. 

This announcement comes five years after the Ottawa SkyHawks of the National Basketball League of Canada folded after one season.

The CEBL plans to begin the process of hiring senior administration for the BlackJacks immediately. Coaching staff and training camp information will be released in the near future.
    
Basketball fans in the Ottawa/Gatineau region can get a jump start on the action through the BlackJacks first season ticket deposit drive, which launched Wednesday. 

A $50 non-refundable deposit guarantees fans front of the line access to tickets in the Arena at TD Place, as well as a limited-edition Ottawa BlackJacks official New Era team T-shirt. More information can be found at www.theBlackJacks.ca. Flex and Voucher Packs, Group Tickets and Single-Game Tickets will go on sale in early 2020.
    
The Ottawa team is named after the most elusive jackrabbit on the planet. BlackJacks are capable of reaching speeds in excess of 70 kilometres per hour and are tremendous leapers. The rabbits have very strong legs and can jump more than 10 feet -- the same height as a basketball net. 




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Mike Vlasveld

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Mike Vlasveld, Village Media Community Editor, OttawaMatters.com
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