Canadian Justin Jackson becomes first NBA pick in CEBL after signing with Hamilton

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Honey Badgers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League have signed forward Justin Jackson.

The six-foot-seven, 225-pound Toronto native is the first player drafted by an NBA team to join the CEBL. Jackson was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2018 draft.

Traded on draft day to Orlando, Jackson played 10 games in the G League with the Lakeland Magic in the 2018-19 season. He averaged 4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury.

He was on Lakeland’s roster to start the 2019-20 season but was still rehabbing his injury. The 23-year-old was expected to return to action sometime this season, but those plans were halted when the G League suspended its season March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson spent two years at Maryland before declaring for the NBA draft. He averaged 9.8 points and 8.1 rebounds during his sophomore year before suffering a torn labrum.

The CEBL announced last week that it was postponing the start of its second season until at least June. It was originally scheduled to tip off May 7.

Hamilton advanced to the championship game in the CEBL’s inaugural 2019 season before losing to the Saskatchewan Rattlers.