OTTAWA -- The Ottawa BlackJacks have signed an Ottawa native as their first player.

Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles, 26, will play for Ottawa's new pro-basketball team when its inaugural season tips off this spring.

Pierre-Charles played for both the Carleton Ravens and the uOttawa Gee Gees. He also played for the Canadian national team during the 2018 Commonwealth Games and on Team Canada during the 2017 World University Games.

Recently, the 6'8" forward played pro ball in Mexico and Spain.

"After two years of professional basketball around the world, I am thankful for the opportunity to come back home and play in front of my friends and family," Pierre-Charles said in a press release. "It is an honour to be the first free agent to join the Ottawa BlackJacks. I look forward to working with Dave and Osvaldo and starting training camp with the rest of the team"

The BlackJacks begin their inaugural season May 7 in St. Catharines against the Niagara River Lions. Their home opener will take place May 14 at the Arena at TD Place against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.

"Signing a first player is a big step for a new franchise. We are doing it the right way with Jean Emmanuel, a local athlete who grew up in Ottawa and represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games and World University Games," said BlackJacks General Manager Dave Smart. "With his experience playing professionally in Spain and Mexico, Jean showed us what he can bring to the table and it fits well in the system we want to build this year with the BlackJacks."