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ST. CATHARINES, ON – Four year NBL Canada veteran, 2015 Champion and Finals MVP Kirk Williams Jr. is set to make Niagara his new home for the 2016-17 season as he signs with the River Lions, the team announced today.
“It feels like the right decision for me, to come to Niagara,” said Williams. “I was impressed by the guys last year and I see potential in the organization and the direction they’re taking. That’s why I’m here, to be a part of something special and to capture a championship with group of guys that I strongly believe have the ability to do so.”
Williams – who spent the last two years with the Windsor Express – brings to the River Lions a potent level of energy and high scoring capabilities, making 52 percent of his shots from the floor with the Express where he was posting just over 12 points per game. Appearing in 78 contests for Windsor, he chipped in 5.1 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game and made 32 percent of this three-point shots. During the 2015-16 season Williams was an NBLC Player of the Week selection. In 2014, with the Mississauga Power, Williams was honoured with the NBL Canada Sixth Man of the Year award.
This past summer Williams took home the Nike Crown League Championship with Team ACE, playing alongside fellow NBLC talents like Tyrone Watson (Orangeville) and Myck Kabongo (London draft selection, 2016).
“We are extremely excited to have Kirk,” commented Grâce Lokole, Head Coach of the Niagara River Lions. “Kirk is one of the more accomplished players in this league - he is an NBL champion and a finals MVP. Kirks ability to score, rebound and defend while playing and defending several different positions is what attracted us to him the most.”
“He (Williams) is a proven winner as demonstrated through his accolades and numbers that has spanned an impressive basketball career. He has toughness and grit that we feel were lacking last season.” said President and General Manager Jeffrey Sotiriou.
Playing varsity basketball out of Longwood University, he held an average of 11.66 points (including a season high 16.87) his freshman through junior years with 5.24 rebounds per game and a .484 shooting percentage at field goal range. As a senior, Williams transferred to the University of Bridgeport and posted an East Coast Conference-best 25.2 points per 40 minutes that season. His shooting accuracy remained strong, going 49 percent from the floor and 67 percent on his free throws.
Williams and the River Lions are set to return to the Meridian Centre in late December to kick off their second year in the National Basketball League of Canada.