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(St. Catharines, Ontario) October 20, 2016 – On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 the Niagara River Lions will host an exhibition game versus Raptors 905 (905),the NBA Development League Affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. This game, presented by The Boldt Team – REMAX Garden City Realty Inc. Brokerage will tip off at 7:00p.m. in the Meridian Centre, downtown St. Catharines.
This marks the first time that the River Lions will match up against the Mississauga based Raptors 905, a team who previously played other National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) teams, the London Lightning and the Windsor Express – both in exhibition games.
Fresh off of a two-week trip to train with international partner, Spišská Nová Ves in Slovakia, Coach Grâce Lokole will return to Niagara in hopes of securing a win against the 905, a first for the NBLC. “This is an opportunity to bring the region the highest level of basketball possible. As a coach, I’m very excited about the direction of our program. As an organization we’re striving to give our players, fans and partners an organization they can take pride in being a part of”.
The November 9th game will be in support of Wise Guys Charity Fund; a well-known organization in the region for over 25 years, helping to improve the quality of life in Niagara. Fans are encouraged to provide a nominal donation upon ticket pick up or at the doors of the Meridian Centre on game day. To date, Wise Guys have succeeded in raising over $2,500,000 in funds for many worthy causes across the Niagara region.
In preparation for this event, the River Lions have actively been announcing player signings for the 2016-17 Season. Fans will have the opportunity to see returnees Sammy Zeglinski, Marcus Lewis, Russ Conley and Mike Allison. New River Lions signees, Tyshawn Patterson, Mangisto Arop, Kirk Williams, Richard Amardi, and LaQuavius Cotton will make their debut in Niagara. With two NCAA Slam Dunk Champions, and the 2015 NBLC Finals MVP, this roster is sure to put Raptors 905 to the test.
Coached by former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse, the 905 will use this exhibition game to lead into the remainder of their pre-season schedule. For the River Lions, this game will pave the way for training camp which will begin in early December.
President and General Manager, Jeffrey Sotiriou commented, “We are excited to bring the Raptors brand to St. Catharines. It is a great opportunity to be on the same basketball court as a D-League competitor. In doing so, our hope is that Niagara recognizes the high level of professional basketball that is offered so close to home.”
“We are thrilled to have Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) back to the Meridian Centre. Just a few weeks ago we painted the Maple Leafs logo on the ice and now we are excited to welcome Raptors 905 playing our own Niagara River Lions,” said Director of Marketing for the Meridian Centre, Kay Meilleur. “Events like these are not only great for the building and the community, they are great for the respective sports. The River Lions bring an amazing level of energy to the building and we can’t wait to see what they have in store with the Raptors 905 game”
For information on tickets, fans are asked to follow the Niagara River Lions on social media or contact the team’s Front Office at 289-273-5905.
For more information on Niagara River Lions visit www.riverlions.ca | or like us on Facebook @NiagaraRiverLions | Twitter @RiverLions | Instagram @niagarariverlions