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National Basketball League of Canada delays start of its 10th season

The league has voted to start the season on a tentative date of March 12, 2021.

Billy White, left, of the Moncton Magic, sizes up a defender. White has been named the National Basketball League of Canada's 2020 MVP.
Billy White, left, of the Moncton Magic, sizes up a defender. White has been named the National Basketball League of Canada's 2020 MVP. Jacinthe Leblanc/NBL of Canada Photo

The National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) has delayed the start of its 10th season to mid-March due to COVID-19 safety concerns. 

In a news release posted to its website on Friday, the league said its board of directors unanimously voted to delay the start to a tentative date of March 12, 2021. 

“There’s no question that we are eager to return to the court and play again, but we won’t take any risks and will only do so in a safe environment to ensure that our players, fans and teams remain protected,” said deputy commissioner Audley Stephenson in a statement. 

“We also want to make sure that all provincial and federal guidelines regarding health and safety are met. We’re look forward to getting back on the court and having an amazing year!”

The league had previously planned to launch the season in December 2020, and said it expects to play a “reduced schedule with limited fans,” while incorporating physical distancing and other safety measures. 

It’s unclear if the NBLC will operate a bubble tournament similar to the one organized last summer by the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). 

The CEBL held its Summer Series tournament from July 25 to Aug. 9 this year at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., after scrapping its original schedule due to the pandemic.

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