Increases in U-Sport athletes turning professional

More pro leagues are deciding to hold drafts for Canadian athletes

With the recent Canadian Premier League second annual U-Sports Men’s Soccer draft that recently passed Nov.11th, 12 U-Sport athletes belonging to various universities across the country had their names called and dreams come to life. All the hard work in the gym came to fruition. This is one example of how U-Sports athletes are getting more opportunities to take their game to the next level.

“Our U-Sports players had some great highlights this season, with an opportunity to play professionally and be part of a professional men’s soccer league that continues to create a pathway for our homegrown players in Canada,” David Clanachan, Commissioner of the CPL said.

After the first draft in 2018, 13 of the 21 players who heard their names called signed professional contracts. Several of them were key players on their teams starting rosters.

It will likely be more of the same for these draftees. Soccer is not the only sport that is creating a pipeline to pro in U-Sports.

In March 2019, the Canadian Elite Basketball League held its first-ever U-Sports draft where 38 men’s basketball players from 21 different schools were drafted into the professional league.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see such amazing talent represent the league and its six teams,” Mike Morreale, Chief Executive Officer of the CEBL said, “Congratulations to all the players who got drafted – it’s a historic time for a Canadian basketball fan.”

The 2020 CEBL draft will be held again this March.

Although Volleyball does not currently have any sort of draft, it is already common to see a lot of U-Sport athletes take their talents overseas to play abroad with professional clubs after they finish their schooling.

Football in U-Sports has also had a wildly successful springboard into the professional game after 52 players were drafted into the Canadian Football League. It is nice to see this progress in university sport.

Historically, when players decide to go to university in Canada, it meant they were giving up their dream due to the lack of opportunity in the professional game; however, with these successful drafts, it is sure to keep the dream alive and the blood at a boil for Varsity athletes in Canada.

Now is a better time than ever for University sport in Canada.

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