St.Catherines, ON- After months of uncertainty due to COVID-19, the CEBL season finally got underway in St. Catherines this past weekend. With each team having played at least one game, and six total clashes completed in the 2020 Summer Series, 49 Sports is here with the first edition of a new series! 5 U SPORTS names making noise over the last few days of the CEBL.
Owen Klassen: F, Hamilton Honey Badgers (Acadia, 2009-2014)
The sharpshooting big man from Kingston has years of professional experience under his belt since his days in the AUS, and has come into his first season in the CEBL with veteran savvy.
Klassen contributed a double-double in the Honey Badgers’ first game of the season, making 4 three-pointers for a total of 15 points and 10 rebounds, showing his skill despite a loss to the Niagara River Lions. Klassen picked up where he left off on Monday night, putting up another big scoring effort on Monday in Hamilton’s win over Guelph. Klassen drew 8 fouls over the course of the game, which played a big role in the 16 points he put up along with 6 rebounds to help the Honey Badgers improve to 1-1 on the season. As Hamilton begins the season with eyes on a championship, Klassen’s contributions will play a big role for the Honey Badgers.
Shane Osayande: F, Saskatchewan Rattlers (Saskatchewan,2014-2017)
The Rattlers have only played one game of the Summer Series so far, but that hasn’t stopped Shane Osayande from reminding Saskatchewan basketball fans why they’ve been cheering for him on both the Rattlers and the Huskies for years now. The forward played almost 20 minutes off of the bench and made good use of the time, putting up 14 points and 7 rebounds, including 3 big offensive boards, in Saskatchewan’s victory over the River Lions on Sunday. Osayande also drew five fouls with his physical play, and will continue to be a big part of the Rattlers as they try to defend their title this season.
Marcus Anderson: G, Guelph Nighthawks (Carleton, 2015-2020)
Those that watched Anderson in his years with the Ravens will not be surprised to hear that he made his way onto this list without putting up jaw-dropping offensive numbers. Instead, the two-time U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year has made his impact felt for the Nighthawks without the ball in his hands. The third overall pick in this year’s U SPORTS Draft, Anderson turned heads in the Nighthawks upset win over the Ottawa Blackjacks on Saturday, playing lockdown defence on legends like Philip Scrubb, drawing charges, and even making a big three during the Elam Ending. Anderson picked up 2 more steals on Monday night against the Hamilton Honey Badgers, and played his usual tenacious defence in a losing effort. Anderson has shown in the first weekend that his game can translate to the pro level, and looks as if he’ll be disrupting CEBL game plans all tournament long.
Brody Clarke, F, Edmonton Stingers (Alberta, 2014-2020)
The defending U SPORTS Player of the Year in the CEBL, Clarke proved to the league that his year at Alberta has turned him into an even bigger threat in his second CEBL season. The Toronto native put up 16 points in his professional debut against the Fraser Valley Bandits, establishing himself as a young name to know in the CEBL despite the Bandit victory. Clarke even stepped outside to knock down a couple of triples against Fraser Valley, showcasing an aspect of his game that hadn’t been very prominent in his time with the Golden Bears. Clarke ran into foul trouble in Monday’s win against the BlackJacks, but still managed to contribute a big bucket during the Elam Ending and add 2 blocks to his stats. Clarke’s first weekend in the CEBL certainly suggests that he’ll continue to bring basketball fans in Alberta to their feet for years to come.
Thomas Scrubb, F, Ottawa BlackJacks (Carleton, 2010-2015)
It won’t be a surprise to many Canadian basketball fans to see Scrubb’s name on this list, as the versatile swingman has long been known as one of the best players ever produced by the U SPORTS system.
Scrubb made his CEBL debut on Saturday as a member of the expansion BlackJacks, and reminded everyone why his name carries the reputation that it does, despite the fact that Ottawa was upset by the Nighthawks. Scrubb scored 18 points with 8 rebounds in more than 30 minutes played for the BlackJacks in their first ever CEBL game, and continued his strong play on Monday night against the Stingers. The BlackJacks rough entry to the CEBL continued with their second straight loss to start the season, but Scrubb still managed to put up 15 points and 7 rebounds, while playing the defence that earned him 2 Defensive Players of the Year awards during his time with the Ravens. As Ottawa looks to get their first CEBL win under their belts, Scrubb’s strong performances will be key.