Plans for new Maritime basketball league underway

·2 min read

When pandemic public health restrictions allow fans back in the stands again, the National Basketball League of Canada may find it's not the only game in town.

The Eastern Canadian Basketball League started making plans last March, and went public in December with its intentions to start play in the Maritimes.

Founding partner Ravi Verma said he believes there is lots of room for two leagues in the Maritimes.

"The overall goal is to enhance the game and provide additional channels for players to play. Growing the sport is our first goal, and involving communities is part of that goal," said Verma, speaking from New York, where he works as a product manager.

"The more you grow it the more people watch."

Submitted by Ravi Sherma
Submitted by Ravi Sherma

The league has put out a call for players and coaches, and has released a list of a dozen communities where it would like to see teams, including Halifax, Dartmouth, the Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, four teams in New Brunswick, and in Charlottetown and Summerside.

Verma said ECBL is aiming for teams in all 12.

"We'd love to have every city, every community involved. That would be our wish list," he told Island Morning host Laura Chapin.

"If you can have two teams in L.A., you can have two teams in Prince Edward Island."

'A great opportunity'

The league has recruited Robbie Robinson, who played for the Island Storm in the NBLC last year, as marketing manager for the league. The NBLC has not announced a new season yet, but has suggested it might resume play in March.

Robinson, who is still living on P.E.I., said he has not heard anything from the team.

"I'm here getting my family established in Prince Edward Island and I just figured it would be a great opportunity," he said.

He hopes to play in the league while acting as marketing manager.

A lot of former Storm players are interested in the ECBL, said Robinson, adding he has connected with players across Canada, in California, China, Mexico and other countries.

Duncan Shaw, owner of the Island Storm, said in an email to CBC News that the NBLC would be making more announcements about its upcoming season soon.

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