YORKTON - The Winnipeg Sea Bears are the new team in the Canadian Elite Basketball League, and that means a place for hometown players to gravitate to.
Given that possibility it’s no great surprise the first player inked by the fledgling Sea Bears was Chad Posthumus. Saskatchewan Rattler fans will have fond memories of Posthumus as a member of the inaugural edition of the Rattlers which won the CEBL championship in year one.
“It’s very exciting the fact we finally have a team here at home,” said the CEBL veteran who returns to his hometown of Winnipeg after two seasons with the Ottawa BlackJacks where he became the first player in CEBL history to post a “20-20” when he recorded 23 points and 20 rebounds, leading Ottawa to a crucial CEBL quarter-final victory.
So does the six-foot-11 forward see his role with the Sea Bears as a sort of on-floor coach?
“I don’t feel I’d go that far,” he told Yorkton This Week. “Probably I never want to coach. It’s not in my basketball or life plan.”
But, Posthumus does see the Sea Bears as being an ideal place to play basketball, something he said he plans to do for another five years, after which he’d like to transition to a role in management, noting “the business side of things interests me.”
That all said, Posthumus said he does see his role as a veteran of the CEBL to be a steadying influence as the Sea Bears adjust to life in a league which has gotten better from his days with the Rattlers.
Posthumus said more teams means attracting more players, and as the reputation of the CEBL has grown better players are seeing it as a viable place to play summer ball.
It’s also a case where Canadian basketball is generally improving with more players making the NBA, and others signing NBA two-way deals or playing in the G-League, many having played in the CEBL at some point, he added.
Having the CEBL sign on to have some of its games on TSN this season will add to the leagues profile, added Posthumus.
Certainly Posthumus has a varied pro career to draw from having played professionally in Canada, Japan, and Argentina, where he has averaged 10.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 20.3 minutes in 186 games over a seven-year pro career.
Posthumus said he won’t be alone as a veteran pointing to the team signing Shane Osayande, a 6’7’’ forward.
Osayande has an already-established connection with Posthumus, as the duo won the inaugural CEBL title in 2019 as members of the Rattlers.
And the team has a CEBL veteran coach in Mike Taylor too.
“It’s a really good foundation,” said Posthumus, adding having some veterans is important because they “know what to expect.”
The role of the vets is to be a catalyst, suggested Posthumus.
“It helps bring the collective unit together,” he said.
Posthumus said the CEBL is going to be exciting in 2023 with the arrival of the expansion Sea Bears and the relocated Surge in Calgary setting up a west division which mimics the CFL west closely.
That means the Surge and Stingers in Edmonton automatically become rivals, and the Sea Bears and Rattlers will be the same. In fact, Posthumus suggested it was likely to be “the Banjo Bowl 2.0,” and actually challenged Saskatchewan suggesting the Sea Bears would break attendance records in their first game eclipsing 10,000 fans.
Posthumus made the boast based in-part to the general reaction he has seen in Winnipeg in regards to the Sea Bears.
“Everybody’s jumped on board with it,” he said.” . . . Right now we have the best fans in the league – right now; year one.”