Guelph Nighthawks announce UofG alum as new coach and GM

From left to right. Joe Raso, CEBL Director of Basketball Operations, Coach and GM Tarry Upshaw, and Cameron Kusch, Nighthawks President. CJOY / Darren Baxter

The Guelph Nighthawks Professional Basketball Club, part of the newly formed Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), has introduced Tarry Upshaw as its head coach and general manager for the 2019 season.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday at the Sleeman Centre, where the team will play its home games.

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Upshaw started his collegiate basketball playing career at the University of Guelph and then moved into coaching at UofG from 1991-1997.

In 1999, he accepted a job coaching the men’s basketball program at Georgian College, where his team made five OCAA Final Eight appearances in seven seasons.

As a professional coach, Upshaw has worked in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He coached Skatligrimur Basketball Club in Iceland, the Sagesse Basketball Club in Lebanon, the Hong Kong National Basketball Team, the Jamaican U18 National Team and consulted with the 2004 and 2006 Asian Games.

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At present, he’s the director of basketball and OSBA head coach for Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ont.

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Upshaw spoke with Global News Radio 1460CJOY at the press conference. He thinks the new league can and should attract top level talent.

“There’s 113 (Canadian) players in Division 1 of the NCAA. In the NBA, I think we (Canada) have the second largest number of pros. There’s a bunch of guys with two-way contracts between the G-League and the NBA. And those are the kind of guys we need to go after — players on the cusp, as well as the top European pros.”

The CEBL will run a 20-game regular season schedule from May 2019 through August 2019, and feature teams in Guelph, St. Catherines, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Abbotsford.

The league will operate in accordance with the player and referee standards set by Canada Basketball and will adhere to the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) rules and regulations.

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