Saskatchewan Rattlers announce inaugural draft picks

The Saskatchewan Rattlers selected players in the first-ever Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) Entry Draft.

The draft for the league’s six teams was held on March 23 in Hamilton, Ont.

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Rounds one through four had a regional focus as CEBL teams selected players from their respective territories, allowing each to have a nucleus of players from its own region.

Saskatchewan selected Edmonton’s Denzel James with the fourth overall pick. He is MacEwan University’s all-time leading scorer.

From there, FIBA 3×3 player Jelane Pryce, Commonwealth Games Team Canada member Justus Alleyn and 2015-16 CIS Canada West MVP Thomas Cooper were chosen by the Rattlers.

Rounds five through 11 were opened up for teams to select players from any region of the world. Former University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Huskies Shane Osayande and Michael Linklater were taken at this point in the draft.

Players Terry Thomas, Kevin Bercy, Gentrey Thomas, Alex Campbell and Chad Posthumus were also selected by the Rattlers in the general draft rounds.

In the two U Sports rounds, Saskatchewan selected Chan De Ciman, of U of S, and Ryerson University’s Jean-Victor Mukama.

Rattlers head coach and general manager Greg Jockims is now tasked with filling the remaining spots on the 19-player roster with free agent signings. Training camp will commence 12 days prior to the start of the season.

The final roster will be cut down to 10 players, which must be 70 per cent Canadian. In addition, all CEBL teams must employ one U Sports developmental player on active rosters.

Saskatchewan will play 10 road games and 10 home games starting with its season opener on May 9 at SaskTel Centre against the Niagara River Lions.

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