HAMILTON, ONT (March 10, 2020) – The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced Tuesday that it will host the Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team in an exhibition game on June 12 at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre that will feature many of nation’s top NBA and CEBL players. Called “The Northern Showcase”, the game will come just nine days before Canada competes in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, B.C., with a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games on the line. 

The CEBL roster will be made up of select players from the league’s Hamilton, Niagara, and Ottawa franchises, and coached by Victor Raso, the CEBL Coach of the Year during its inaugural season in 2019. CEBL players include current and former Team Canada members who also play in the NBA G League and other top FIBA professional leagues around the world during the traditional basketball season. Team Canada will be led by NBA champion head coach Nick Nurse and the roster will feature several of the country’s top players currently in the NBA (like Hamilton-born Shai Gilgeous-Alexander), NBA G League, NCAA and professional leagues overseas. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public Thursday, March 12 at 2:00 PM ET at CEBL Insiders may purchase tickets in advance of the public onsale starting now. To become a CEBL Insider, sign up via the form on this page.

Team Canada is working toward its first men’s Olympic berth since the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. They will face Greece, China, Uruguay, Czech Republic, and Turkey in Victoria, with only one team capturing the remaining Olympic spot.

“The Northern Showcase,” reflects a celebration of the best basketball talent in Canada.  The game marks the first time since the 1994 FIBA World Championship at Copps Coliseum (now FirstOntario Centre) that Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team has played in Hamilton.  The Hamilton Honey Badgers play 10 home dates at FirstOntario Centre. Their 2020 home schedule starts May 16 with a rematch of the inaugural season’s CEBL Championship game against Saskatchewan. The game also marks the first time since 1998 that current NBA players have played in Hamilton. 

The Northern Showcase  will also feature entertainment elements that make CEBL games unique. Kirk Stcyr, better known as “4Korners”, will be the host DJ for the game to add to the incredible entertainment package that is planned. As the official DJ of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, 4Korners will also be performing in the “The Carstar Northern Showcase Halftime Show”.

With seven teams across four provinces, the CEBL is the “Official First Division Professional League Partner of Canada Basketball”, adhering to official FIBA rules and regulations.  The 2020 regular season tips off May 7 when the expansion Ottawa BlackJacks face off against the Fraser Valley Bandits. The CEBL is one of the only professional men’s basketball leagues in the world that runs during spring and summer.

Beginning this season, CBC Sports will live stream all 70 regular season CEBL games and its five playoff contests, plus eight over-the-air television broadcasts including the CEBL Championship game live from Edmonton on August 16, 2020. The CEBL and CBC signed a three-year partnership last November.

Event Details:

What: The Northern Showcase

Where: FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, Ont.

When: June 12, 2020 at 7 p.m. ET.

Broadcast details: The game will be shown live nationally on CBC digital network, CBC Gem App and

Tickets: Available to the general public starting March 12 via Ticketmaster. Insider Presale March 10th. To become a CEBL insider click here.


“Today is a tremendous day for basketball in Canada. I am extremely proud that the CEBL is able to bring a world class event of this magnitude to Hamilton that will put on full display the best Canadian basketball players on one floor on June 12th. Many thanks to Canada Basketball, the City of Hamilton, Core Entertainment for seeing our vision and making it a reality. I believe that when we connect all the basketball dots in this country many great things can happen. The CEBL’s primary goal is to assist the Senior Men’s National Team in their quest for a spot in the 2020 Olympics and as Canadians we can all hope to celebrate another national team gaining a berth to Tokyo.” - Mike Morreale, Commissioner & CEO, Canadian Elite Basketball League

“The Northern Showcase will be a unique opportunity for our program to continue preparations for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, while showcasing some of our country’s top Canadian talent playing in the CEBL.  Last year, several members of our national team program returned home from playing professionally overseas to participate in the CEBL’s highly successful inaugural season.  We are looking forward to bringing Team Canada to Hamilton this summer and know that our fans will come out to support us on our road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.” - Glen Grunwald, President & CEO, Canada Basketball

“As we continue to prepare for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, exhibition games like The Northern Showcase will be an important step as we grow and come together as a team.  Facing some of Canada’s top players in the CEBL will be a good early test for us and another opportunity for fans to come and cheer on some of their favourite Canadian players on home soil.” - Nick Nurse, Head Coach, Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team

“Playing for Canada and representing my country is always an honour and an opportunity I’m looking forward to this summer. To be able to play in my hometown of Hamilton, in front of family, friends and fans as we continue to prepare to qualify for the Olympics will make it even more special.” - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team

“On behalf of my Council colleagues, we are thrilled to welcome the Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team as well as the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s East Elites to the City of Hamilton for what will be an exceptional display of some of Canada’s greatest basketball athletes. In the lead up to the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the City of Hamilton is thrilled to host such an incredible group of athletes in an exhibition match as they tune-up their skills days prior to leaving for the international qualifier. This will be an excellent opportunity for all to come and see the powerhouse that is Canadian basketball and how we like to play it in the North.” - Fred Eisenberger, Mayor, City of Hamilton

"Our relationships and partnerships are the keys to our lengthy and long-standing success here in Hamilton. We are beyond thrilled to be working alongside the Canadian Elite Basketball League, the City of Hamilton, and Canada Basketball to bring some of the nation's rising NBA stars along with such high calibre basketball to our city. This event adds to the already robust line up of shows and events happening in Hamilton at our Core Entertainment venues thus far in 2020." - Andrew Nash, General Manager, Spectra


About the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL)

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) is a new basketball experience that features world-class professional basketball in a fan-friendly entertainment environment across seven cities in Canada. The 2019 inaugural season saw more than 100 Canadian and international players take to the court, culminating with the Saskatchewan Rattlers earning the first CEBL championship trophy. CEBL players come from NBA G-League clubs, top NCAA programs, the Canadian national program, U SPORTS and other Division 1 FIBA leagues. As the First Division Professional League partner of Canada Basketball, the CEBL is set to start its second season in May 2020. All games are live streamed on the CBC Gem app, CEBL.TV and the Island Sports Network. Head to or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more (@cebleague).

About Canada Basketball

Canada Basketball is the National Sporting Organization for the sport of Basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball is respected worldwide and is recognized by the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Government of Canada as the sole governing body of the sport of amateur basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball, a not-for-profit organization, represents all basketball interests, provides leadership, coordination and direction in all areas of the sport of basketball.

About City of Hamilton

Hamilton is the fifth-largest municipality in Ontario and the tenth-largest municipality in Canada. As a global city, Hamilton boasts a renowned education and health sector as well as a thriving arts scene. Industries in Hamilton include manufacturing, bioscience and medical, and agriculture. The City of Hamilton’s vision is to be the best place to raise a child and age successfully. The City’s mission is to provide high quality cost conscious public services that contribute to a healthy, safe and prosperous community, in a sustainable manner.

Media Contacts:

Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL)
John Lashway, 
Executive Vice President, Communications & Strategy
Cell: (416) 276-1422
Canada Basketball
Matt Walker, 
Manager, Communications – Responsable, Communications
Cell: (289) 244-9993 
City Of Hamilton
Allison Jones
Senior Communications Officer
City Manager's Office
Strategic Partnerships & Communications, City of Hamilton
(905) 546-2424  Ext.3810
Core Entertainment
Roxana Teymourian
Marketing Manager 
O: 905.546.4085  F: 905.546.3002  C: 289.339.8209


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