Record number of NBA experienced players on CEBL rosters

Niagara River Lions open their season on the road Friday night. Photo credit: CEBL.

The Niagara River Lions tip-off their regular season Friday night in Brampton, as part of the 10-team Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) which began its season earlier this week, a look at the player breakdown across the league is very impressive.

More than 140 players attended 2024 CEBL Training Camps the past two weeks, of which 107 were Canadian.

Rosters heading into the regular season include a record number of NBA experienced players, extensive high-profile returning CEBL talent, and players that have played in the NBA G League, NCAA, USPORTS and elsewhere.

Notable highlights of the elite talent under contract league-wide in the CEBL in 2024 includes:

107 Canadians (75% of all rostered players)
10 players with NBA game experience (most ever)
43 players with NBA G League experience (most ever)
22 players that have suited up for the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team
80 returning CEBL players
91 players with professional experience playing overseas
90 former NCAA players
74 players from U SPORTS / CCAA (Canadian College Athletic Association)
4 non-American imports from Barbados, Lithuania, Netherlands and South Sudan

One of the new members of the River Lions is Montreal native Nathan Cayo, who has played both in NBA G League and professionally in Poland.

Cayo can’t say enough about Canada’s largest professional sports league.

“I realized real fast when I started playing how high the level of play was,” Cayo told The Niagara Independent. “It’s been really amazing to see – especially as a Canadian – it brings a lot of pride.

To see how big this league has gotten, not only in Canada but worldwide really, guys in the (NBA) G League, guys in Europe are asking about the CEBL. It’s been really fun to watch, and now be a part of it.”

A highlight for the league recently was when Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished in NBA Most Valuable Player voting this season, mentioned the CEBL by name during a post-game press conference.

Current Canadian NBA players are regular attendees of CEBL games in the GTA and Niagara.

The River Lions released their opening night roster on Thursday:

#0 Jahvon Blair (Canadian)
#1 Jordan Tchuente (Canadian U Sports – Brock Badgers)
#7 Omari Moore (American)
#8 AJ Davis (American)
#9 Aaryn Rai (Canadian)
#10 Kimbal Mackenzie (Canadian)
#12 Luka Syllas (Canadian U Sports)
#13 Nathan Cayo (Canadian)
#15 TJ Lall (Canadian)
#18 Loudon Love (American)
#22 Elijah Lufile (Canadian)

Former CEBL MVP, guard, Khalil Ahmad will return for a third season in Niagara, but is still currently playing professionally in Belgium.

Forward Eddie Ekiyor was set to return for a second season with the River Lions, but will likely miss all of 2024 due to a knee injury.

Niagara’s home opener is next Thursday night, May 30, at Meridian Centre in a return match up against the Brampton Honey Badgers.

Tip is set for 7pm and tickets are still available.

Visit for more information.

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