The Ottawa BlackJacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) have a new general manager, and he's already got plenty of work to do.
Former national team member, Michigan Wolverines captain, and 11-year pro, Jevohn Shepherd, will take the reigns ahead of the 2021 season.
Shepherd, 34, retired last year from a notable professional basketball journey in Europe. He has since been serving as basketball analyst for Sportsnet590 The Fan, CBC Sports, Sauga 960am and Raptors 905. His professional playing career took him to some of the top FIBA leagues in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Romania. Shepherd was drafted by the Guelph Nighthawks in the second round of the 2019 CEBL Entry Draft but did not sign with the club.
"After watching the action closely as part of the broadcast team for the CEBL in 2020, I am proud to be a part of something special in Ottawa." says Shepherd. "The CEBL has quickly grown credibility among Canadians and international pros around the world. The foundation is set in our nation’s capital for long-term professional basketball success. I look forward to building the basketball operations department as we review and complete our roster for the 2021 season."
In the coming months, Shepherd will be building the BlackJacks' basketball operations department, including finding a coaching staff.
Osvaldo Jeanty, who guided the team to a 4-4 record during the BlackJacks inaugural season this past summer, has withdrawn his name from consideration for a possible new contract for the 2021 season, so an international coaching search will be taking place soon.
"After a thorough search, having discussions with basketball personnel within the CEBL, NBA, NBA G League, Canada Basketball, and major FIBA leagues, the BlackJacks are proud to welcome Jevohn Shepherd to lead the basketball operations department of the franchise," says BlackJacks President Michael Cvitkovic. "Jevohn represents the exciting direction of the CEBL, is known throughout the league as a collaborator, and will expand international player recruitment. He believes in the value of community and will help bring great pride to Ottawa and Gatineau."