WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Sea Bears, in partnership with the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, and Manitoba Blue Cross are launching a new initiative aimed to give underserved children more opportunities to learn the game of basketball.
The organization has created the 'Winter Sea Bears' presented by Manitoba Blue Cross, an offseason program that will connect underserved children with high-quality basketball instruction through clinics with University of Winnipeg Wesmen, University of Manitoba Bisons, and Sea Bears players and coaches.
The goal of the program is to give youth a place to learn skills so that they may develop lifelong habits and reap the benefits of sport and activity.
The Sea Bears, Wesmen and Bisons want all children to feel cared for and connected to their community, regardless of their ability or socioeconomic status.
The Winter Sea Bears’ first camp is scheduled for Nov. 29th at Sport Manitoba. Youth enrolled with BGC Winnipeg (formerly the Boys and Girls Club) will have the opportunity to learn under Sea Bears head coach Mike Taylor, CEBL U SPORTS Player of the Year, Simon Hildebrandt, Jennifer Kallon of the Wesmen, and other members of both the men’s and women’s university programs.
“We saw just how powerful basketball was in uniting community this past season and want to continue that work year-round. This initiative allows us to reach more youth and give them all the benefits that come with active participation in sport, from the mental and physical attributes to life learnings and skills,” said Jason Smith, president of the Winnipeg Sea Bears.
“We are excited to be able to partner with the Winnipeg Sea Bears on an initiative that will be positive for not only the sport of basketball, but for so many in our community as well. The Sea Bears have taken great lengths to make themselves a prominent and positive contributor to our city, and we are honoured to be asked to help further that work by being partners in the Winter Sea Bears camps,” said Dave Crook, Athletic Director, Wesmen Athletics.
“Sport is a powerful way to connect people of different backgrounds and experiences. We are thrilled to partner with the Sea Bears, help serve others in our community and share experiences,” said Bisons Athletic Director Gene Muller. “Our student-athletes were once aspiring youth who dreamed of playing university or pro basketball. We hope that their experiences and mentorship can be a driving force for developing the next generation," said Gene Muller, Director of Athletics and Recreation, University of Manitoba.
About the CEBL
A league created by Canadians for Canadians with a mission to develop Canadian players, coaches, sports executives, and referees, the CEBL boasts the highest percentage of Canadian players of any pro league in the country with 71 percent of its 2022 rosters being Canadian. Players bring experience from the NBA, NBA G League, top international pro leagues, the Canadian National team program, and top NCAA programs as well as U SPORTS. Nine players have moved from the CEBL into the NBA following a CEBL season, and 28 CEBL players attended NBA G League training camps during October. The CEBL season runs from May through August. Head to CEBL.ca for more information or follow @CEBLeague on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook & YouTube.