Montreal's new pro basketball team is making its arrival in the city official, revealing the name fans can cheer on from the stands, along with a strong mascot design, on December 8.
The Tundra, or Toundra, will become the first Canadian team to join The Basketball League (TBL), the largest pro basketball league south of the border. Only players from Montreal and Quebec will join the roster. They'll don shades of blue to hit the court and rep a fiercesome-looking bird.
The basketball team's logo and mascot. Courtesy of the Montreal Tundra.
“Montreal is a Nordic city, and that gives us a tenacious, fierce edge… The Tundra for us means a wide-open field of opportunity and potential," said the team's general manager, Juan Mendez.
Mendez is a celebrated former professional basketball player and coach who played in the Canadian national team. He was also the first Canadian inducted into the MAAC Naismith Hall of Fame, an honour reserved for the most accomplished players.
The team will be coached by Igor Rwigema, the founder of basketball academies in Thetford Mines and Alma and a pioneering force in shaping homegrown basketball talent.
"Four current players in the NBA are from here… We have so much basketball talent here in Montreal and Quebec," said Rwigema.
In past years, local basketball players have had to pursue careers in Europe, but no longer with the arrival on the Tundra.
"Our team will give Montreal’s best basketball players a chance to pursue their careers at home, and be close to friends, family and fans," he said
Part of the ethos of The Basketball League is to give back. So Tundra players who live in Montreal will engage with local communities through school, youth camp and non-profit events.
You can catch the team in the late winter and early spring with home games taking place at the Olympic Park's Centre Pierre Charbonneau. Tickets will start at $20.
"Our goal is to provide Montrealers the most affordable quality basketball experience," said Mendez.