HIGHLANDERS BASKETBALL News On Upcoming Season and Head Coach

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Sydney, NS, Canada | July 18, 2017

The Cape Breton Highlanders held a news conference at Centre 200 in Sydney where President and GM, Tyrone Levingston, announced the upcoming new season and a new head coach.

Levingston said, “Our inaugural season was an amazing start for our franchise.  Despite some bad luck with injuries that resulted in frequent roster changes, our team was competitive throughout the season, and only one game away from making the playoffs. The skills and athleticism of our players wowed the league.  Our front-office staff and volunteers delivered 20 high-quality, family-friendly events. And our fans supported and inspired us from day one. We are going to build on this strong foundation.”

The Highlanders play in the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC). The NBLC is entering its seventh season with 10 teams vying for the title from Cape Breton to Ontario.

Head Coach

The new Head Coach is Rob Spon from Pennsylvania. For the past 2 seasons, Spon lead the Saint John Riptide as Head Coach and General Manager. In 2015, Spon coached the Rochester RazorSharks to an undefeated season and a Premier Basketball League championship. Prior to that he was Head Coach of the Halifax NBLC team. Spon has over 20 years of coaching experience and has also served as a scout for the NBA.

Spon added, "I would like to thank the Cape Breton Highlanders and Tyrone Levingston for the opportunity to be part of this young franchise. Having competed in Cape Breton this past season, I have personally experienced the strength of the franchise and the energy that the fans bring to every game at Centre 200."

Spon replaces former Head Coach Ben Resner.  Levingston added, "We are grateful to Ben for the the leadership and commitment he gave our team during our inaugural season."

Players

The Highlanders roster is starting to build with some familiar names signed and others in discussions.  The NBL Canada requires all player contracts to expire at the end of each season, so teams must rebuild their rosters.  Up to five players on each team can be protected to allow a team to maintain some continuity on the roster.

The upcoming season also introduces a rule change that now requires five Canadian players to be on each team instead of four.

Season

The upcoming regular season will begin in mid-November and run until April 2, 2018. Past seasons ran from late December to end of April. The earlier dates are desired by a large number of fans who want to see their teams hit the court earlier in the year and complete the season before the warm weather arrives.  Playoffs will remain the same with the top 4 teams in each of the Atlantic and Central Divisions competing for the championship.  Playoff games are played in a best of 5, then best of 7, and final best of 7 game format.

The NBLC continues its expansion with a new team in Sudbury, Ontario on board to start in the 2018-2019 season, and additional cities exploring expansion opportunities.

Tickets

The Cape Breton Highlanders will continue to offer affordable ticket prices for exceptional entertainment value. Tickets for most seats will be the same or even lower than last season. Season tickets will go on sale in early August.

Community

The Cape Breton Highlanders will continue the team’s commitment to being deeply involved in the local community.  This includes visits to schools, charities, and events, and game days focused on raising money and profile for local causes. The team shares inspirational messages for healthy lifestyles, the value of education, building positive self-esteem, and having fun.

The Cape Breton Highlanders Franchise is one of 10 professional basketball teams in the National Basketball League of Canada.  The Highlanders’ ownership group is comprised of successful business and community leaders in Cape Breton, and led by President and General Manager Tyrone Levingston.

“Basketball is our product, but community is our mission.”

Website: HighlandersBasketball.ca

Facebook:  @HighlandersBasketball

Twitter & Instagram:  @cbHighlanders

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Tammy Ferguson Follow Me
Very exciting news for the Cape Breton Highlanders. Looking forward to a very competitive season between my Halifax Hurricanes and the Cape Breton Highlanders!

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