After taking a few days to think about an offer from the Edmonton Stingers, Xavier Moon figured he had nothing to lose.
The six-foot-two point guard had just completed the 2018-19 season with the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada and had decided to visit his uncle in Atlanta on the way home to Goodwater, Alabama.
Moon huddled with family and ultimately decided to head back north to play in the inaugural season of the Canadian Elite Basketball League.
As they say, the rest is history.
“Me and my uncle had a conversation and he was like ‘well you have nothing to lose. You can go and if you don’t like it, you can just come back home.’ I took a chance on it and I’m glad I did it because it turned it out to be one of the best leagues pretty much in the world.”
Moon, 26, has taken the league by storm to this point. He has been named player of the year in each of the CEBL’s two seasons and led the Stingers to a win in the Championship Game at the Summer Series last year.
When asked to explain his love for the CEBL, Moon doesn’t skip a beat, especially in light of the league’s ability to safely conduct a season during a global pandemic.
“To be able to do that says a lot about the people that are running the league and the people involved in the league and the players and the coaches and all the staff members,” says Moon over the phone from Israel.
“ will only be the third year. So just imagine years five, six, seven when it’s getting close to the ten- year mark. This will definitely be, no doubt in my mind, one of the top leagues in the world.”Xavier Moon – Edmonton Stingers
Stingers president Brett Fraser implies the franchise struck it rich with Moon and that the speedy guard has also struck the right chord with Edmonton both on and off the court.
“He completely gravitates to trying to make the next generation better and through showing some of his skills and also speaking to them as equals and really being just a genuine individual. He genuinely loves the community,” says Fraser.Brett Fraser – President, Edmonton Stingers
“I know that a lot of people would say that, but it’s just really heartfelt and he’s just such a great person and this community is so lucky to have him. And you can genuinely feel that it’s mutual.”
Moon also speaks highly of London – where he played for two seasons – and clearly feels at home playing basketball in Canada.
“London is one of the best places I’ve been as far as the basketball aspect and the city aspect as well,” says Moon.
“The fans there are pretty much like the ones in Edmonton, probably the most loyal fans in the league. Whether it’s sunshine or snowing outside, we could always count on our fans to be there to support us. London was one of the greatest places I’ve been.”
Although he is taking his career year-by-year, Moon sounds like he is planning to spend many more summers in Canada.
“People are always like, are you coming back? Will you always come back to the CEBL? I mean, if I don’t have anything better as far as like the NBA Summer League or something like that, of course, I’ll pretty much always be in Edmonton. I’m pretty much stuck on the CEBL right now unless something better comes along.”