October 4, 2014 by lucarosano
By Luca Rosano
NBL Canada kicks off its fourth full season on Nov. 1, 2014 when the reigning champions, Windsor Express visits the London Lightning to begin the 2014-15 campaign.
This new season promises to feature more competitive play and a more physical brand of basketball. The competition level continues to increase and players will be bringing it this season for a chance to earn that next contract or new opportunity.
The theme coming into this season is “No Nights Off.” This theme represents the work ethic of the NBL-C. Every coach, player and team brings a high competitive intensity to each and every game.
The league is starting to make a name for itself for the high-quality basketball it produces year in and year out. With the expectations higher than ever and the amount of talent on the court, don’t expect the league to lose its step this season.
NBL-C Commissioner, Paul Riley, sat down with Will and Duane of TSN Radio 1050 and discussed the league entering its fourth year.
When asked how long before the NBL-C reaches the next level, Commissioner Riley said it takes time but the league continues to take positive strides.
“Our goal is to provide high level basketball across the country,” he said.“Our league has some of the best players in the world. The fan base is growing, and the talent of players gets better every year as well.”
Riley also reminded everyone that the NBL-C will have some games televised nationally this year, which will help bring in even more exposure.
“We’ve got a broadcast deal with beIN Sports, which is a new sports network in Canada, he said. “They’re committed to showcasing our games in prime time across Canada. That will get our games into some homes for people who haven’t seen our league yet.”
Commissioner Riley knows that expansion is something the league will look at, but for now they’re focused on the eight current teams they have making sure they remain healthy and excel by pulling in their communities.
“Once that happens then expansion will come organically,” said Riley.
The NBL-C continues to pull in talent from across the world. All-Americans are starting to convert to the league and the crop of players coming in is as talented as ever.
However, the biggest reason why the NBL-C continues to become so successful and popular across Canada is because it’s a league that touches the community.
“When our guys aren’t playing, they’re in schools preaching about anti-bullying, they’re in hospitals helping children who are ill and they’re helping to build homes,” Riley said. “They’re in the community positively affecting the community.”
On a fun note when asked who he would draft if he could take any current player from the NBA (outside of LeBron James and Kevin Durant) to help further grow the NBL-C, Riley laughed and said he would choose San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan because well, he’s great for the community.
“He has an impeccable reputation and has always been committed to his community.”
Watch the full interview here: