Quebec getting pro basketball team, the 'Montreal Alliance,' based in Verdun

Montreal is getting its own pro basketball team, with the Canadian Elite Basketball League expanding to the city.

The league announced Wednesday that the Montreal Alliance begin play in 2022 at Verdun Auditorium.

Montreal will be the league's ninth franchise, and its first in Quebec. The Alliance join the recently added Scarborough Shooting Stars in the league's second wave of expansion.

The CEBL launched in 2019 with six franchises: Edmonton, Hamilton, Guelph, Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, B.C.), Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) and Niagara (St. Catharines, Ont.).

Ottawa was added prior to the 2020 season.

Montreal has been rising as a hotbed of Canadian basketball talent, with Montrealers Khem Birch and Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors and Luguentz Dort of the Oklahoma City Thunder finding success in the NBA.

"Montreal has evolved into one of the strongest regions for basketball in the country, and we are very excited to fuel that growth by bringing a pro franchise to the city," Mike Morreale, commissioner and chief executive officer of the CEBL, said in a statement.

"The refurbished historic Verdun Auditorium is an ideal setting for our fan-friendly entertainment experience. Montreal sports fans will see the best pro basketball in Canada outside of the NBA competing in one of the top FIBA leagues in the world."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2021.

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