Canadian Elite Basketball League | Joel Anthony appointed CEO of the Alliance de Montréal

After a long professional career of 12 years, including 10 in the NBA, Joel Anthony is back in the metropolis. The Montreal Alliance struck a blow on Wednesday morning, announcing his hiring as the organization’s very first general manager.

Katherine Harvey-Pinard

Katherine Harvey-Pinard

It was in one of the gymnasiums at Dawson College, where Joel Anthony played in his youth, that the Canadian Elite Basketball League (LECB) team announced the news. In the background, we could hear balls bouncing in one of the neighboring gymnasiums. As if nothing had been left to chance.

“The Alliance de Montréal does not yet have a long history, but it is with him [Joel Anthony] that we want to build it ”, launched at the microphone the vice-president of the Alliance, Annie Larouche.


Annie Larouche, vice-president of the Alliance de Montréal

“It was here in Montreal that it all started for Joel,” she continued. He was born in Montreal, raised and went to school here. He and his sister were raised by a single mom, who quickly became his inspiration. He knows the local basketball community and we are very happy to have him back home. ”

I am sure we have the best candidate.

Annie Larouche, vice-president of the Alliance de Montréal

The name of Joel Anthony is well known to the entire Montreal basketball community: the 39-year-old today is one of the few Quebecers to have made a career in the NBA. He played 10 seasons in the big league from 2007 to 2017 with, among others, the Miami Heat, with whom he won two championships. Players like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Shaquille O’Neal have been among his teammates.

The ex-athlete then played for two years with San Lorenzo d’Almagro, Argentina, before ending his professional career and joining the Hamilton Honey Badgers in the LECB in 2020 as a development consultant. players. From now on, he will make his knowledge available to the basketball community in his hometown.

“Throughout my basketball years, I have had experiences beyond my wildest dreams, and I have the impression that today it is repeating itself”, he said. from the outset, in French.

“To be here after a long playing career, to be a general manager of a professional team in my hometown and to have the chance to come home to help with the development of basketball is very special to me. and I don’t take [ça] lightly. ”

What makes me the most proud in my entire career is that I have worked hard and had opportunities that some people have given me. I want to do something like this for others.

Joel Anthony, new CEO of the Alliance de Montréal

Players from Dawson College and basketball players in Quebec were present for the occasion, including Olga Hrycak, member of the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame and former coach of Joel Anthony.

The mother of the new CEO was also on site, in the front row. The ex-player has also reserved a touching tribute to him.

“I want to thank my mother, who raised me with love, discipline and understanding of the sacrifices, which prepared me for this adventure,” he hinted. I wouldn’t be here, in front of you, without her. I am grateful that she is sharing this moment with me. ”


The new CEO of the Alliance de Montréal, Joel Anthony.

Local talent

On October 27, the Alliance de Montréal unveiled its name and colors between the walls of its home, the Verdun Auditorium. It thus became the ninth team of the LECB. At that time, Annie Larouche then insisted on the importance of local talent, highlighting in particular the exponential growth of registrations in Quebec since the success of the Toronto Raptors.

“We have local talent, and we can’t wait to give our Quebecers the opportunity to play at home, in front of their family and friends,” she said.

The new general manager also said he wanted to “give an opportunity to local players who are good to have the choice to play for a team in Montreal”.

I want to find the best players for the team. But local talent will take priority.

Joel anthony

And where does he plan to go find the said players? he was asked.

“Everywhere,” he replied without hesitation. In Canada, United States, Europe, South America. All over. ”

He already has “a small list” of athletes that he intends to contact in due course. It is from the 1er February that he will be able to start signing contracts with players, while the season will begin in May.

“The first thing is to find my trainer,” he said. With him, we will find the players who will best help our team. ”

Not an option

In Annie Larouche’s mind, “it was always clear from the start” that Joel Anthony was the man for the job. As of last spring, the vice-president contacted the ex-athlete to “see his intentions”.

“He was with the Honey Badgers, but I wanted to go check it out,” she told Press. I wanted to be respectful and not go stealing from everyone! But I did talk about it with John Lashway, the president of the Honey Badgers, and he said, “When I heard that there was a team in Montreal, I knew I would probably lose Joel”. ”

Anthony had known for a long time that “when there was a team in Montreal, [il serait] there, whatever the role ”. “I wanted to be here to help,” he explained.

From April, Larouche and Anthony started talking to each other once a month. They then met in August, in Edmonton, during the LECB championship.

“Did we have a plan B, C, D…?” Maybe, Larouche said. I’m not even saying yes. Joel was Plan A and then I fell into the ‘if ever’ plan. ”

“For me it was not an option not to have it. ”

Mark Weightman, Alliance Governor


Mark Weightman

The Alliance also announced the appointment of Mark Weightman as the team’s governor. Weightman worked with the Montreal Alouettes from 1996 to 2016, notably as President and CEO. He was also vice-president, development and operations of the Laval Rocket from 2018 to 2020. He is currently president and CEO of the Trois-Rivières Lions, in the ECHL, a role he will keep at the same time as ‘he will help Annie Larouche in the management of Alliance activities.

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