Sea Bears draft picks include familiar faces

The Winnipeg Sea Bears have drafted some familiar faces to local basketball fans.

The team announced its draft picks Thursday, including Simon Hildebrandt — a graduate of Winnipeg’s Mennonite Brethren Collegiate — who was chosen eighth overall in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL)’s expanded draft.

Hildebrandt, 6’9″, already spent time with the Sea Bears last season, as part of the league’s development arrangement with U SPORTS, winning the CEBL’s U SPORTS player of the year honours.

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“We are extremely excited to welcome him back and continue our teamwork into year two,” said the team’s head coach and general manager, Mike Taylor.

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“Simon is a fantastic young man who perfectly represents our organization and connects us with the city, his hometown of Winnipeg. Personally, I believe in Simon completely and am looking forward to working with him again this summer.”

In the second round of the draft, the team re-selected Tyler Sagl, of the Lakehead Thunderwolves in the Ontario University Athletics league, 13th overall.

Sagl also played briefly with the Sea Bears in their inaugural season.

The Sea Bears’ third-round pick, Shawn Maranan, is a graduate of Sisler High School in Winnipeg, and an all-star point guard for the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.

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“I’m super blessed and thankful to be able to officially put on that jersey this summer,” Maranan said. “But what makes it even better is being at home and representing the city of Winnipeg. I look forward to the season as this opportunity fulfills my childhood dreams of playing professionally in front of my friends and family.”

The Sea Bears training camp opens May 13 in Winnipeg, and the team’s sophomore season kicks off May 22 in Saskatchewan, before the home opener at Canada Life Centre two days later.

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