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The Canadian Elite Basketball League has expanded into Toronto, adding the Scarborough Shooting Stars as its eighth franchise.

The Shooting Stars will tip off when the 2022 season opens next May.

“Scarborough is a basketball hotbed that has produced some of Canada’s very best players,” Mike Morreale, the CEBL’s CEO and commissioner, said in a release. “When the new team hits the court in 2022 it will bring an elevated passion and love for the game, the Scarborough community, and for the next generation of CEBL stars.”

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Scarborough’s franchise owners are Nicholas (Niko) Carino, one of the founding members of OVO (October’s Very Own) – the lifestyle brand of rap star Drake – and Sam Ibrahim, a founding member of the Playground Global basketball complex. Both are born and raised in Scarborough. The CEBL launched in 2018 and played its first season in 2019 with clubs in Hamilton, Edmonton, Guelph, Niagara, Fraser Valley and Saskatchewan, and then added Ottawa before the 2020 season.

The CEBL, which runs May through August, has the highest percentage of Canadian players – 75 per cent – of any pro sports league in the country. Scarborough will announce more details about the franchise this fall.

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