Ottawa's new professional basketball team will be called the "Ottawa Skyhawks" after its original name, "Tomahawks," which had been unveiled and subsequently pulled back in late February.


Ottawa's new professional basketball team name is Skyhawks after the original name, Tomahawks, raised the ire of some community members. (Photo courtesy of Bytown Sports and Entertainment)

Bytown Sports and Entertainment decided to quash its first choice mere hours after the official announcement at city hall due to public outcry.

Bytown president, Gus Takkale, had defended the name, saying it was not meant to appropriate First Nations culture.

He said they took the name from a type of slam dunk in basketball, not from the axe used by First Nations people. He also noted the logo would have been a basketball with wings.

Takkale also said he had consulted with aboriginal groups before unveiling the logo and name.

The team decided the replacement name would come from fans on its Facebook page.  It will now prepare for its inaugural season, starting in November at Scotiabank Place, by choosing players and a coach.

The National Basketball League, which Ottawa will play in, also features teams from Windsor, London, Oshawa, Montreal, Moncton, Saint John, Halifax and Summerside.