New Canadian basketball league welcomes 7 teams
Halifax, Quebec, Saint John, Charlottetown, Kingston, London and Oshawa may have NBL teams
The National Basketball League of Canada may have as many as seven teams when the season tips off this fall.
The professional basketball league was created after the Halifax Rainmen, Saint John Mill Rats and Quebec Kebs bolted from their old league this spring over a dispute with association's owner.
Canadian cities had until midnight on Wednesday to submit an application and pay their deposits to join the upstart basketball league.
Teams from Charlottetown, Kingston, London and Oshawa all met the midnight deadline.
Ian McCarthy, the league's interim chief executive officer, said the interest in setting up the new league is impressive considering the short time frame in finalizing all of the details.
"I think it's amazing that we were able to actually get people who two months ago had never thought of this idea to not only decide to do professional basketball, but also to pay an expansion fee and to really see the excitement and the opportunity to go after it," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the league still has to make sure the teams have leases with arenas before they're officially announced as NBL franchises.
When the new league was announced, there was also discussion of a team in Moncton, which would act as a natural rival for the other Maritime teams.
The league will have a mandate to have a certain number of Canadian players on each team and that number will be voted on by the member teams when the final roster of teams is announced.
McCarthy said in May that one round of the player draft will be dedicated to picking players on Canadian Interuniversity Sport and Atlantic University Sport teams.