Ottawa BlackJacks general manager Dave Smart didn’t sign any scrubs for the club’s inaugural season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).
But the Ottawa coaching legend has filled out his first training camp roster with two top-flight Carleton University grads who made Scrubb a household name in basketball circles.
The BlackJacks have signed brothers Philip and Thomas Scrubb, who both won five national university championships at Carleton with Smart as their coach.
Philip, the younger brother, was a three-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) MVP and won CIS Athlete of the Year in 2014.
The six-foot-three guard was also a four-time First Team All-Canadian and CIS Rookie of the Year, averaging 19 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 105 university games.
Thomas, a six-foot-six forward, was a two-time CIS Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time CIS tournament All-Star.
Both brothers have played extensively with Team Canada and have had successful pro careers in Europe. Philip also played with the Toronto Raptors’ and Memphis Grizzlies in the 2015 NBA Summer League, winning the league championship with Memphis that year.
The 2020 CEBL season is in limbo due to Covid-19, and was originally slated to begin in May.
Although the league was in talks with the Ontario government to crown its champion with a lengthy tournament in a single location, neither party has announced an agreement.
BlackJacks load up on Ottawa talent
The BlackJacks training camp roster is made up primarily of Carleton and University of Ottawa grads, as well as three current Carleton players — forward Tajinder Lall and guards Alain Louis and Lloyd Pandi — who are signed to development contracts.
Shaquille Keith, a six-foot-five forward who played at Cape Breton University, and Christopher Ware, a six-foot-eight forward from Buchanan, Va., who played at Indiana Tech, are the only BlackJacks without a clear Ottawa university connection.
CEBL requires that all teams have at least seven Canadian players on their 10-man rosters.