Former Carleton Ravens star Jeanty named BlackJacks' first head coach

OTTAWA — Osvaldo Jeanty is returning to Ottawa basketball.

The expansion Ottawa BlackJacks hired Jeanty as the team's head coach on Friday, reuniting the former Carleton Ravens point guard with his mentor and former coach Dave Smart.

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"I am happy to have Osvaldo here with us, as our first head coach," said Smart, the teams' general manager. "He understands what needs to be done in order to win. I have full faith that Osvaldo will work as hard as he can to bring the team where it's supposed to be."

Ottawa was the seventh franchise to join the Canadian Elite Basketball League, which had its inaugural season last summer.

"I am committed to putting in all the work necessary to make 2020 an historical inaugural season," Jeanty said in a release. "What the CEBL has accomplished so far is impressive, and I can't wait to put together a roster who will compete in the league and inspire future generations of basketball stars."

The 36-year-old Jeanty captured five Canadian university titles, and was named MVP of the final four times, with the Ravens under Smart, who is now Carleton's director of basketball operations and a consultant with the Ottawa Senators. The Ravens have won 14 of the last 17 Canadian university titles.

Jeanty went on to play professionally in Germany, Romania and Morocco. He also played for Canada's national team in 2006 and '07, and represented Canada at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Jeanty was born in Haiti and immigrated with his family to Canada at the age of six.

The BlackJacks tip off their inaugural season May 7 in St. Catharines, Ont. Their first home game is May 14 against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020.

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