The fourth season of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) has started off with a bang with some exciting league-wide announcements and amazing individual accomplishments on the hardwood.
A total of eight league games were played during the first week of the season, the expansion Newfoundland Growlers were idle as they prepare to make to play their first CEBL game and push the league across Atlantic Canada.
Dominated by international imports and headlines, the first seven days of action saw three players hit the 30-point mark in their CEBL debuts. A pair of two former Canadians U Sports standouts led the Fraser Valley Bandits to a perfect week. The Niagara River Lions block machine swatted a combined nine rebounds in two games, and the cat is out of the bag in Guelph.
The Scarborough Shooting Stars and their hi-powered acquisitions have helped pushed the CEBL into the mainstream media, attracting global wide coverage for their signing of hip-hop artist J. Cole.
Below, we will take a look at the top ten BasketballBuzz CEBL standout performers during week one of the 2022 Canadian Elite Basketball Leagu season.
Deng Adel – Ottawa Blackjacks
Deng Adel (South Sudan/Australia), the former Cleveland Cavaliers two-way player, came-up two points short of tying the CEBL all-time scoring mark set by Xavier Moon in a near perfect Canadian debut.
The former Louisville Cardinal was in his bag early and often, scoring a career-high 37 points on 14-of-16 shooting and a scorching hot 7-of-8 made three pointers. The Ottawa Blackjacks dropped a close 90-87 game against the visiting Fraser Valley Bandits.
May 25 vs. Fraser Valley Bandits, L, 90-87: 37 points (14/16 FG, 7/8 3FG, 2/3 FT) 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 28 minutes
Domenic Green – Montreal Alliance
Not to be outdone by Adel’s performance, Domenic Green (Renton, WA) put the expansion Montreal Alliance on his back. Green buried three straight triples to kick-start the fourth quarter, capping off a personal 10-0 scoring run with a dunk to break open a tight contest and send the sold out Verdun Auditorium into a frenzy.
The Alliance picked-up their first CEBL win by defeating the Scarborough Shooting Stars in the battle of two of the league’s newest franchises.
May 25 @ Hamilton Honey Badgers, L, 80-72: 10 points (2/6 FG, 1/3 3FG, 5/6 FT) 1 rebounds, 17 minutes
May 29 vs. Scarborough Shooting Stars, W, 80-70: 36 points (14/20 FG, 2/4 3FG, 2/4 FT) 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 33 minutes
Khalil Ahmed – Niagara River Lions
Coming off an outstanding season in the Danish league, Khalil Ahmed (Corona, CA) a silky smooth six-foot-four guard, wasted no time introducing himself to the CEBL with a pair of excellent games for the Niagara River Lions.
The former Cal State Fullerton top scorer went-off for a game-high 34 points in the season-opener as the River Lions fell by three-points in a close 92-89 Elam ending to the Saskatchewan Rattlers. In a rematch of the 2021 CEBL championship game, Ahmed poured in 22 points to lead Niagara past the defending Champions Edmonton Stingers.
May 25 vs. Saskatchewan Rattlers, L, 92-89: 34 points (11/20 FG, 3/8 3FG, 9/13 FT) 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 37 minutes
May 27 @ Edmonton Stingers, W, 86-74: 22 points (7/16 FG, 0/2 3FG, 8/8 FT) 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 34 minutes
Scottie Lindsey – Saskatchewan Rattlers
Part of a dynamic Saskatchewan Rattlers starting back court, Scottie Lindsey (Oak park, IL) is set to have a big season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. The 26-year-old, six-foot-five guard served-up back-to-back 20-plus point games against two of the league’s best teams.
May 25 @ Niagara Riverlions, W, 92-89: 23 points (9/16 FG, 5/11 3FG, 0/0 FT) 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 31 minutes
May 29 vs. Edmonton Stingers L, 84-71: 24 points (9/21 FG, 5/13 3FG, 1/1 FT) 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 43 minutes
Alex Campbell – Fraser Valley Bandits
Alex Campbell (Brampton, Ont.) is back for his second-year with the Fraser Valley Bandits and third CEBL season. The six-foot-two guard led the Bandits to a perfect 2-0 week as Fraser Valley squeezed by, earning a pair of single digit wins to start the season.
Campbell, a former U Sports basketball standout with the Windsor Lancers, scored a team-high 23 points, including a contested three-pointer to secure the 90-87 win over the Ottawa Blackjacks.
The veteran 29-year-old contributed with 14 points and 8 rebounds in the one-point o win over the Hamilton Honey Badgers.
May 25 @ Ottawa Blackjacks, L, 90-87: 23 points (7/12 FG, 4/7 3FG, 5/6 FT) 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 30 minutes
May 27 @ Hamilton Honey Badgers, W, 71-70: 14 points (5/12 FG, 2/7 3FG, 2/2 FT) 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 32 minutes
Kadre Gray – Fraser Valley Bandits
The three pointers weren’t dropping, and some unforced turnovers need to be tightened-up, but it was an excellent opening week for Kadre Gray.
The two-time U Sports basketball player of the year with the Laurentian Voyageurs returned to Ottawa and showed his former CEBL team what they will be missing this season with a 17 point, 6 assist outing against the Blackjacks.
Gray was equally impressive two days later with another 17-point outing in the one-point victory over the visiting Hamilton Honey Badgers.
May 25. @ Ottawa Blackjacks, L, 90-87: 17 points (5/12 FG, 0/3 3FG, 7/7 FT) 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 33 minutes
May 27 @ Hamilton Honey Badgers, W, 71-70: 17 points (5/11 FG, 1/5 3FG, 6/8 FT) 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 32 minutes
Cat Barber – Guelph Nighthawks
The cat is out of the bag in Guelph. They came to see Jermaine Cole, instead they saw why Cat Barber (Hampton, VA) signed a ten-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2021-22 season.
Barber knocked down the game wining Elam ending shot to put the cap on a 20-point, six assist effort in the Guelph Nighthawks 80-70 win over the Scarborough Shooting Stars. Royal City will be a tough outing at the beautiful Sleeman Centre.
May 29 vs. Scarborough Shooting Stars, W, 80-70: 20 points (8/21 FG, 3/9 3FG, 2/4 FT) 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 35 minutes
Tony Carr – Saskatchewan Rattlers
Tony Carr (Philadelphia, PA), spent two seasons at Penn State, causing havoc in the Big Ten conference. Carr, selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans will be a big part of the Saskatchewan Rattlers plans to hoist the CEBL trophy once again.
The six-foot-five guard dropped a 17 point, 10 assist double-double in his first CEBL game to lead the Rattlers to a 92-89 road win over the Niagara River Lions.
May 25 vs. Niagara Riverlions, W, 92-89: 17 points (5/15 FG, 1/5 3FG, 6/6 FT) 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal, 32 minutes
May 29 @ Edmonton Stingers L, 84-71: 19 points (6/15 FG, 3/8 3FG, 4/4 FT) 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 40 minutes
Jalen Harris – Scarborough Shooting Stars
The buzz around the Scarborough Shooting Stars and their last minute signing of J. Cole pushed the CEBL to another stratosphere. Additionally, garnering plenty of headlines was the Shooting Stars acquisition of Jalen Harris a 2020 second-round draft pick of the Toronto Raptors.
The 23-year-old guard was hit with a one-year suspension for violating the NBA anti-drug program. Following the announcement, the Raptors ended Harris two-way contract. Harris will not be able to apply for reinstatement until the 2022-23 NBA season.
Utilizing the CEBL as a pathway to get back into the big league, the talented six-foot-five guard put-up some solid numbers in his the first two games in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. The Shooting Stars dropped their first two games on the road.
May 26 @ Guelph Nighthawks, L, 89-80: 21 points (9/25 FG, 2/8 3FG, 1/3 FT) 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 21 minutes
May 29 @ Montreal Alliance L, 80-70: 18 points (6/15 FG, 2/7 3FG, 4/6 FT) 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 34 minutes
EJ Onu – Niagara River Lions
EJ Onu (Cleveland, OH) clogged up the middle and swatted a combined nine blocks in his first two CEBL games with the Niagara River Lions. The 22-year-old, six-foot-eleven forward is one of four international imports playing for head coach Victor Raso.
Onu played his collegiate basketball for Shawnee State in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and suited up for the Memphis Hustle of the G-league for the 2021-22 season.
May 25 vs. Saskatchewan Rattlers, L, 92-89: 14 points (5/11 FG, 0/5 3FG, 4/4 FT) 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, 27 minutes
May 27 @ Edmonton Stingers, W, 86-74: 14 points (6/9 FG, 0/2 3FG, 2/3 FT) 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 steal, 25 minutes