Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Ottawa Skyhawks latest NBLC franchise to hit the morgue?

Gus Takkale Ottawa Skyhawks
Gus Takkale Ottawa Skyhawks

As we gear-up for another exciting season of NBLC (National Basketball League of Canada) basketball, the fourth in league’s history, it’s starting to look like the Ottawa Skyhawks will be latest addition to the NBLC morgue.

Rumors have begun circulating that the “Nations Capital” franchise will not return for it’s second season after completing a costly and somewhat successful but experimental inaugural season with a winning record of 21 wins and 20 losses, coming-up just short of the NBLC playoffs in heart-breaking fashion.

The Skyhawks were awarded a NBLC franchise in 2012 under the guidance and ownership of Gus Takkale and Bytown Sports Entertainment. The league built a strong case around why Ottawa was/is a great city and market for a semi-professional basketball team- which it is! Unfortunately, the lack of a true basketball facility in the city forced the team to have to play it’s first season in the massive and distant home of the Ottawa Senators which has capacity for over 20,500 plus patrons but is located roughly 30 minutes from the city’s growing and vibrant core.

In 20 home games the Skyhawks averaged just 1051 fans per contest, not even enough to fill-up the Canadian Tire Place once! Their last two home games were played at the nearby city college La Cite Collegiale which only has capacity for roughly 300-500 fans and violated the venue policy that the league has in place.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Attendance peaked at 3560 fans when the Skyhawks knocked off the Mississauga Power 100-89 to kick start a five game winning streak. The lowest points came when the team was forced to play in front of just a 153 fans against the London Lightning (Dec 4/2013) and 202 versus the Brampton A’s the following day.

The ownership group had been hopeful all along that it would be able to secure a deal with newly built TD Place, which would offer the Skyhawks a more suitable home both in terms of location and in line with the leagues mandate for a venue (6 000-10 000 fans).

At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season it was evident that the Skyhawks were already on life-support, and that a return for a second season was seriously in jeopardy, therefore making these early rumors more credible. Add to the fact that the 2014-15 season is less than 90 days away and there has been next to no activity from the team. No player signings, including no announcements as to were the team will play this upcoming season, if it eventually does return to the league.

Must Read:
Carl English amazing 58-point effort sets NBL Canada scoring record

Several of the players that made the Skyhawks an exciting and competitive team have found new homes overseas including second-leading scorer Justin Tubbs who will take his 17.4 points per game to Germany, hometown favorite Eric Kibi (4.4 PPG/4.7RPG) has also secured is future in the German nation.

Hopefully the ownership group, the city and the league can put together a plan to keep the Skyhawks breathing and avoid becoming the fourth franchise (Quebec Kebs, Montreal Jazz, Oshawa Power) in just four years from joining the National Basketball League of Canada morgue or relocation list.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




Seven days after winning his third straight national U Sports basketball championship, Ottawa basketball star Lloydi Pandi becomes the first Carleton Ravens player to...


Canadian-Nigerian Caleb Agada (Burlington, Ont), a former Ottawa Gee-Gees guard went off for eye-popping 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Rising African basketball powerhouse Nigeria...


Nearly a year has passed since the eight-team league was forced to cancel the remainder of its ninth season due to the ongoing pandemic.

High School

In the long and arduous battle for equality and social justice there comes a time where the community must come together, unify their collective...


It was a tough season on the Island, but Alex Campbell made the most of it.

High School

Styles LePage, a basketball player at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School confronted by Ottawa School Board Trustee Donna Blackburn at local park


It was only a matter of time for Dave Smart to get back in the game. Truthfully, he really never left. Bored and tired...


Ottawa has been men’s university basketball’s Champ City for a minute, thanks to the Carleton Ravens dynasty. Now Canada’s capital has a professional franchise...

BasketballBuzz - Canada's Basketball Magazine