The Ottawa BlackJacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League announced the hiring of former Raptors 905 assistant coach Charles Dubé-Brais on Tuesday to fill their head coach vacancy.

The second-year franchise had an opening after Osvaldo Jeanty informed the team he would not be returning following the end of his contract.

The 39-year-old Dubé-Brais brings a lengthy resume to the BlackJacks with experience that includes the NBA’s G-League, a guest coach stop in the NBA’s Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs, and the ASEAN Basketball League where he won coach of the year honours with the Chongson Kung Fu Club in the 2017-2018 season.

“With so many colleagues and friends already working in the CEBL, I am thrilled to join their efforts in growing the league,” Dubé-Brais said. “In just two seasons, the CEBL has developed a reputation throughout the basketball world as an emerging opportunity for the best in the game to shine, and a great platform for Canadian and international talent to grow and get the exposure it deserves.

“I am extremely excited and honoured to serve as head coach of the Ottawa BlackJacks. We are on the cusp of something very special and we can’t wait to get started and build a championship culture in our nation’s capital.”

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BlackJacks general manager Jevohn Shepherd, who was hired in November, looks to Dubé-Brais to provide a level of credibility for the franchise and also to recruit top talent, as they look to make it over the hump after a semifinal exit in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series.

“Charles brings a wealth of professional coaching expertise to Ottawa and the CEBL,” Shepherd said. “Recognized as a passionate and detail-oriented basketball coach, his NBA and international coaching experiences will help in recruiting top talent to the nation’s capital and expand the credibility of Canada’s domestic pro league.

“Having coached in some of the top leagues throughout the world, Charles brings a truly international flare to the sidelines. It’s a very exciting time for the BlackJacks organization.”

The Québec City native has also coached in France with the esteemed Nanterre 92 professional club, where he was runner-up for coach of the year honours in 2015, and where Ottawa BlackJacks guard Johnny Berhanemeskel currently plays.

He also serves as an NBA analyst with French-language all-sports television station RDS in Québec. 

Dubé-Brais and BlackJacks management will look to round out the coaching staff soon, with the start of free agency on Feb.1.