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Manjit Minhas becomes 1st female owner in CEBL history with Edmonton Stingers

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Stingers hire two locals to basketball team'
Edmonton Stingers hire two locals to basketball team
The Edmonton Stingers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) have hired Jordan Baker as their new head coach and Steve Sir as the new general manager. Slav Kornik reports – Dec 16, 2022

TV star and Alberta entrepreneur Manjit Minhas has become the first female owner ever in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

Minhas and her brother Ravinder Minhas have joined the ownership group of the Edmonton Stingers and the CEBL.

“We were in town here in Edmonton last summer with our families — I have two girls and Ravinder has two girls — and we came to a game,” Manjit said. “We loved the vibe, we loved the elite level of basketball play, we loved that it was family-friendly, and we left the game really energized for basketball in this province.

“As we were on the way home, we thought: ‘Well, how do we get involved?’ The owners are friends of ours, so we had a conversation with them.”

The pair join Taranvir (Tank) Vander and James Burns of Stingers Entertainment Group as managing partners of the Stingers and investors in the CEBL.

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“They bring a rich history of success in Alberta business, and their investment in our team and league speaks to their dedication to the continued growth of basketball,” Vander said.

Click to play video: 'KISS legend Gene Simmons in Calgary to celebrate partnership with Minhas Brewery and Distillery'
KISS legend Gene Simmons in Calgary to celebrate partnership with Minhas Brewery and Distillery

Ravinder and Manjit are the co-founders of Minhas Breweries & Distilleries – the creators of Boxer Lager and Mountain Crest. They acquired the second-oldest brewery in the U.S. and opened Minhas Micro Brewery in their hometown of Calgary.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) and Stingers Entertainment Group announced Wednesday that Ravinder Minhas and Manjit Minhas have become partners of the CEBL and the Edmonton Stingers. Courtesy/Dutch Hollow Photography

“From cheering on the Raptors courtside to sponsoring the Milwaukee Bucks, anyone who knows me knows I’m an avid basketball fan,” Ravinder said.

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“We didn’t know what to expect when we went to a Stingers game and we were blown away.”

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There are currently 10 CEBL teams across Canada. The ownership group hopes to expand the league, recruit more Canadian players and promote it widely.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Stingers chasing back-to-back CEBL title at hometown championship weekend'
Edmonton Stingers chasing back-to-back CEBL title at hometown championship weekend

The siblings say they’re also excited to become more involved in the community.

“For us, it’s about diversity of ownerships and it’s about having something that young boys and girls can look up to, elite, right in their backyard,” Manjit said. “To be able to be fans of but then also participate in.”

She said representation matters and it’s important that young people see themselves reflected on boards and teams.

“To be inspired to sit in those chairs, be part of different ownership groups, have a seat at the table, but also do things that make them happy and make a difference,” Manjit said.

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“I have two young girls and for me, it is important always to say: there are no glass ceilings. If you are passionate about something, you can be involved, you can have a say, and you can have fun along the way.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Stingers create a buzz during first season in CEBL'
Edmonton Stingers create a buzz during first season in CEBL

As for what Stingers fans can expect from the years ahead?

“Lots of fun … a championship,” Ravinder said. “Of course, the offerings of alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic will be improved,” he added with a smile.

The Stingers open their 2024 season on Tuesday, May 21. The game against the Calgary Surge will be nationally televised from the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Stingers will host their first home game on Sunday, June 2 against the Saskatchewan Rattlers.

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