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Lewis goes first overall as NBL tips off with draft

The Canadian Press

8/21/2011 8:50:15 PM

TORONTO -- Morgan Lewis is the fledgling National Basketball League's first ever draft pick.

The six-foot-four, 210-pound native from Painesville, Ohio, was chosen first by the Oshawa Power on Sunday as the seven-team league conducted its inaugural draft at the Rogers Centre's Summit Suite.

Justin Garris was drafted second by Summerside, P.E.I.

Jerome Brown was the first Canadian to go in the start-up league, which begins its season Oct. 29. Each club plays 36 games with the top four teams advancing to playoffs in March.

Brown, a six-foot-four, 205-pounder from Toronto, was taken fifth by the Saint John Mill Rats, while Quebec selected fellow Toronto native Tristan Martin with the final choice in the first round.

The NBL is the creation of Andre Levingston and Ian McCarthy, formed when three existing teams -- the Halifax Rainmen, Saint John Mill Rats and Quebec Kebs -- left the Premier Basketball League amid complaints of poor management.

Four NBL franchises have since been formed: the London Lightning and Oshawa, plus two still-to-be-named teams in Moncton, N.B., and Summerside.