CEBL's Ottawa BlackJacks hire Jevohn Shepherd, ex-national team player, as GM

Former Canadian national team player and CBC Sports basketball analyst Jevohn Shepherd was named general manager of the CEBL’s Ottawa BlackJacks on Monday.

34-year-old tasked with hiring new head coach ahead of franchise's 2nd season

Former Canadian national team member Jevohn Shepherd was hired by the CEBL's Ottawa BlackJacks as general manager on Monday. (Ottawa BlackJacks)

Former Canadian national team player and CBC Sports basketball analyst Jevohn Shepherd was named general manager of the CEBL's Ottawa BlackJacks on Monday.

Shepherd, 34, retired from playing last year following an 11-year career with stops in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Romania. The Toronto native was a second-round draft pick of the Guelph Nighthawks in 2019.

Shepherd takes over a BlackJacks team that surprised many by reaching the semifinals of the league's Summer Series in its expansion season.

"After watching the action closely as part of the CBC broadcast team for the CEBL in 2020, I am proud to be a part of something special in Ottawa. The CEBL has quickly grown credibility among Canadians and international pros around the world. The foundation is set in our nation's capital for long-term professional basketball success," Shepherd said.

The BlackJacks featured an all-Canadian roster in 2020, including national team stalwarts Phil and Thomas Scrubb as well as CEBL standout Johnny Berhanemeskel and U Sports developmental player of the year Lloyd Pandi.

Shepherd replaces Dave Smart as BlackJacks GM after Smart left the position in August to focus on his roles as director of basketball operations at Carleton and coaching consultant with the Ottawa Senators.

Shepherd's first task with Ottawa will be rebuilding its coaching staff after head coach Osvaldo Jeanty withdrew his name for consideration ahead of the 2021 season. The team says an international coaching search will be conducted in the weeks ahead.

Ottawa president Michael Cvitkovic said the team canvassed Canadian basketball before choosing Shepherd.

"Jevohn represents the exciting direction of the CEBL, is known throughout the league as a collaborator, and will expand international player recruitment. He believes in the value of community and will help bring great pride to Ottawa and Gatineau," Cvitkovic said.

Shepherd's former Team Canada teammate Jermaine Anderson currently serves as GM of the Hamilton Honey Badgers.

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