It’s that time of the year again! CEBL Basketball is returning to the hardwood for its third season. It’s been a long and tumultuous road for the Canadian Elite Basketball League, which kicked off in the Summer of 2019. The Edmonton Stingers will take the court with 13 players on their roster as of June 6; 7 of which are returning to the Stingers following their memorable Championship victory in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series. The Stingers have also brought in 3 USPORTS Players, 2 new players to the CEBL, and 1 player from another team. Without further a due, let us introduce you to the Stingers 2021 roster.
The OG’s – Players Returning for Year 3
The Stingers will be bringing 5 players back who appeared on the Inaugural Season roster. Starting off, Xavier Moon. Moon is the current reigning back-to-back MVP, Finals MVP and two-time All Star for the Stingers. Undoubtedly the best player to ever play CEBL basketball, Moon is renowned for his incredible speed, pull-up jump-shot, shifty handles, playmaking abilities, and his “score-at-will” abilities. Moon is coming off averages of 19.5 points per game, 4.5 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game on 52% FG% and 50% 3P% in the Summer Series. Moon is undoubtedly the leader of this team and the player to watch as the Stingers take on the task of defending the title. Moon is also coming off an incredible season in Israel where he averaged 24.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Mathieu Kamba will make his return for the Stingers this year. Kamba is coming off a breakthrough season with the Stingers where he established himself as one of Canada’s best players. Kamba impressed with his dunks, three point shooting, and defensive abilities. Kamba was largely credited for the Stingers victory and was dubbed “Unsung Hero”. Kamba is coming off a season in Spain where he averaged 12.9 points per game in one of the worlds top leagues.
Jordan Baker returns to the Stingers as the team’s captain. Baker, the hometown hero, is coming off a season with the Stingers that had him named “Canadian Player of the Year”. Baker was also runner-up to Xavier Moon for the MVP award. Baker’s claim to fame is his relentless rebounding, hustle, leadership and court vision. Baker averaged a league high 9.4 rebounds per game last season, and was instrumental in ELAM ending time for the Stingers. Watch for Baker to be a key playmaker for the Stingers, who have many capable scorers, but are a bit weaker when it comes to floor generals, aside from Adika Peter-McNeilly.
On the topic of Adika Peter-McNeilly, the Stingers three-point shooting floor general makes his return to the Stingers, where he’ll likely serve a sixth man role similar to that of Jordan Clarkson on the Utah Jazz. McNeilly will be tasked with coming in off the bench, giving the Stingers a spark from the three point line, and being a consistent and solid ball-handler. McNeilly has certainly earned an increased role with the Stingers, but the depth of the team makes it difficult to see APM playing extended minutes.
The final OG returning to the Stingers is big man Zac Overwater. Popularized by fans as “Zac Goaterwater”, the Didsbury native has been described as “the glue guy” for the Stingers. Overwater earned a spot on the Stingers roster due to his attitude and off-court influence, and he had a very solid showing, proving to be an underrated asset for the Stingers. Overwater shocked everyone with a dominant season in Spain, where he averaged 18.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Overwater will be looking at an increased role if he can outplay Sascha Kappos, with the Stingers being down two bigs in Travis Daniels and Brody Clarke.
The Return of the Champions
The Stingers will be bringing back two players who joined the Stingers for their Championship run. First off, Kareem South returns after an underrated showing in the Summer Series. South apparently turned heads in the coaching staff for his relentless effort and underrated contributions to winning in his limited minutes. While his stats won’t blow you away, watching a game of Kareem South will tell you all you need to know about the former California Golden Bear. South is a relentless player with the hustle of someone who wants to be great.
The second returning player for the Stingers is Sascha Kappos. Kappos was the Stingers first round draft pick in the USports draft last season, and is one of the only players from the USports draft in 2020 to return to his team on a professional contract. Kappos turned heads in his mere minutes on the court. His 6’11 frame makes him a potential-filled bomb waiting to explode inevitably. He can shoot, defend, play off the ball and clog the paint on defence. Kappos is potentially the most intriguing player on the Stingers roster, his potential makes his an interesting choice for Coach Smalls to give playing time. Kappos could follow former Stinger Brody Clarke’s path in taking an increased role following a strong USPORTS showing. Time will tell, but Kappos could be a superstar if he fulfills his potential.
New Guys In Town
The Stingers brought two new players into the CEBL this year. First off was Jahmal Jones. Jones is a veteran point guard with tons of overseas experience in high level leagues. Jones will likely be an on-ball playmaker that provides relief to Xavier Moon and Adika Peter-McNeilly. His high IQ also makes him an interesting fit alongside Jordan Baker. One could draw comparisons between the two players. It’s hard to say what Jones will get as far as minutes. He could be second man off the bench, he could be bench warmer, the depth of the Stingers at the guard position makes him an uncertainty at this point in the season.
The second player added to the CEBL by the Stingers is Brady Skeens. Skeens is a Dennis Rodman-like rebounding machine, except he can score too. With Jordan Baker and Brady Skeens on the court at the same time, the Stingers are sure to collect a ton of rebounds on both ends of the floor. I wouldn’t expect Skeens to shoot too often due to the weapons the Stingers have, but he’s certainly capable. Watch for Skeens to potentially average more rebounds than he does points.
The Dunk King
Marlon Johnson. If you watched the inaugural season of the CEBL at all you’ll know who that is. Johnson made waves by signing with the already stacked Stingers, and is reportedly fired up to play with Xavier Moon. Johnson is a threat no matter where he is on the floor. The 2019 CEBL Champion can throw down nasty dunks, play lockdown defence, defend the rim like nobody in the league, and has been widely dubbed the most NBA ready player to touch the CEBL. Look for the energy to go through the roof when Johnson gets on the court with Xavier Moon and the Stingers.
The Stingers selected Alex Carson, DeAndrae Pierre and Colton Gibb as their three USports players. While there’s a chance they’ll see some court time, it’s more likely that these signings are for developmental purposes before anything. The Stingers are contenders and will probably look to feed their minutes to their veterans for the time being. Still we will certainly watch these players closely as they look to earn themselves a full professional contract from the Stingers or any team.