Breaking down the First Round of the 2022 CEBL x U SPORTS Draft.

Ottawa, ON – On Tuesday night, the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced the 2022 CEBL x U SPORTS draft results. Through the U SPORTS Developmental Player Program, the draft is a way for U SPORTS athletes either to play professionally after graduating or to receive professional experience during the summer months while not jeopardizing their eligibility with their schools.

With two picks for each of the ten teams, 20 names in total were announced. Here is the breakdown of Round One.

#1: Scarbourough Shooting Stars

F David Muenkat from StFX University

Muenkat with the Terriers in 2012/Terriers Athletics

The Shooting Stars kick off the draft with 6-7 forward David Muenkat. Muenkat found his way to StFX after spending a season with NCAA D1 program St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers, where he averaged just under 14 points and ten rebounds a game.

His first season with the X-Men saw him put up similar numbers of around 14 points and ten boards. As only one of the two public names on the 2022 Shooting Stars roster (the other being Aaron Rhooms), it will be interesting to see what the young program has planned for Muenkat.

#2: Montreal Alliance

F Alain Louis from Carleton University

Ottawa BlackJacks/Valerie Wutti

For the Montreal Alliance, for their first pick, they went with graduating Carleton Ravens forward Alain Louis. Louis, who could best be described as playing the game like a wrecking ball going up and down the court, comes off a season where he was named U SPORTS Final 8 Championship MVP and earned second-team all-star honours.

However, the big thing Louis brings to a new Montreal program is experience. The U SPORTS veteran took the CEBL by storm in 2021 as a member of the Ottawa Blackjacks and was named a nominee for CEBL x U SPORTS Player of the Year. With a Montreal program looking to establish itself, having a player who has been through the CEBL wringer and made an impact is a definite asset.

#3: Newfoundland Growlers

F Cole Long from Memorial University


The last of the new CEBL teams, the Newfoundland Growlers, go with a local pick in 6-7 centre, Cole Long. Long, who transferred to Memorial from Detroit-Mercyhurst in 2019, was a force in his senior year with the Seahawks, finishing second in the AUS with 19.8 ppg and leading the league with 10.6 rebounds per night. Another former pick, Long was drafted by the Guelph Nighthawks in the third round of the 2021 draft and is another example of a new team using their top pick as an asset to grab a player who has been here before.

#4: Saskatchewan Rattlers

F Anthony Tsegakele from Brandon University

Milana Paddac/Bobcats Athletics

#5: Ottawa Blackjacks

G Nervens Desmothene from the University of Saskatchewan

The first guard selected in the draft (and the top pick in 2021) heads to Ottawa in the form of veteran Saskatchewan Huskies guard Nervens Desmothene. After transferring over from Bishop’s University in 2021, where he led the Gaiters to the 2020 RSEQ championship and was named a first-team all-star, he settled into a tertiary role with the Huskies. Behind Marquavian Stephens and Alexander Dewar, Desmothene picked up a solid 11.4 ppg while finishing in the top-25 in three-point shooting in the conference at 36.0%

In his first season in the CEBL with the Rattlers, who finished 1-13 in 2021, he averaged 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 22 minutes per game. Heading to the Blackjacks, he’ll have to fight for time, mainly with CEBL veteran Corey Johnson. Still, after a shock U SPORTS National Silver Medal for the Huskies in 2022, the opportunity is there for Demosthene on the BlackJacks.

#6: Guelph Nighthawks

F Elijah Miller from the University of Prince Edward Island

Janessa Hogan Photo/UPEI Athletics

The Guelph Nighthawks go against the grain and select a first-time CEBL athlete in UPEI’s Elijah Miller. The thinking behind this pick is Guelph struggled to distribute the ball in 2021. The Nighthawks finished sixth in assists at 15.9 per game ahead of just Saskatchewan.

In Miller, they get the top distributor in the AUS picking up 5.6 per game. Miller led the offence for the UPEI Panthers in 2021-2022 as they surged from dead last in 2019-2020 to third in the conference. It remains to be seen how much weight Guelph puts on to him, but it’s clear the Nighthawks purposefully went for offence with this pick.

#7: Fraser Valley Bandits

F Thomas Kennedy from the University of Windsor

Ben Steiner

By OUA standards, Thomas Kennedy does a little of everything well. He can score, defend, play in transition, get back to block (he was third in the OUA in 2020 in blocks per game) and while he has never been a true star in the league, he’s always been a dependable option for the Lancers.

That dependability got him a shot with the Hamilton Honey Badgers in 2021, and it earns him another trip to the CEBL, this time out west with the Fraser Valley Bandits. On Hamilton in 2021, Kennedy got in nine starts where he picked up 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds a night. On Fraser Valley, it will be interesting to see where he gets used by Coach Taylor as he very well could be starting from the opening tip depending on how the Bandits fill out the rest of their roster.

#8: Hamilton Honey Badgers

F Keevan Veinot from Dalhousie University


Keevan Veinot heads back to Hamilton after a memorable senior season with Dalhousie.

The 2020 AUS Men’s Basketball MVP finished fourth in the AUS in scoring in 2022 with 18.5 ppg, just a shade underneath his teammate Alex Carson. The Tigers picked up their third consecutive AUS title but fell to the Queen’s Gaels in the 2022 U SPORTS Final 8 Quarterfinal and ultimately ended 2022 in fifth.

Now though, the newly graduated Veinot gets the opportunity to build on a 2021 season with the Honey Badgers that saw him average 7.2 ppg in nine games with Hamilton.

#9: Niagara River Lions

G Lloyd Pandi from Carleton University

Valerie Wutti

With Lloyd Pandi declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft, the CEBL is probably pretty far from his mind (and it’s why he fell this low) but should he end up at the Meridian Centre in 2022; it would be a coup for the River Lions to have been able to snag him here at ninth.

Pandi is coming off of a season where he averaged 14.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game for the Ravens, won U SPORTS Most Valuable Player and helped Carleton to a third consecutive national championship. Pandi is also a two-time 2x CEBL x U Sports Player of the Year in 2020 with the Ottawa Blackjacks and in 2021 with these same Niagara River Lions. The 22-year-old has sights beyond the CEBL, but if he ends up in the league in 2022, the River Lions will get an immeasurable boost.

#10: Edmonton Stingers

F Patrick Vandervelden from Mount Royal University

The Edmonton Stingers finished fourth in the CEBL with 3.2 blocks per game in 2021, and selecting Patrick Vandervelden from the Mount Royal Cougars should definitely help boost that number.

The U SPORTS veteran (of eight total years, he’s been on the circuit since 2014) was on a spring in 2021-2022, leading Canada West with 25 blocks. The fifth-year might struggle to find playing time on the back-to-back defending champions, but this is a selection that looks like a player who can carve out a specific niche.

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