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NBLC

London Lightning owner tells rest of NBL Canada to go f— themselves amidst calls for commish Paul Riley to resign

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NBL Canada London Lightning Owner Vito Frijia

NBL Canada London Lightning Owner Vito Frijia voices his concerns and opinions.

Don’t know where to start with this one. Simply shocking, the events that have transpired over the last 48 hours in the upstart National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada). This is starting to feel a little like a (World Wrestling Entertaining) episode rather than what is supposed to be a terrific NBL Canada Finals series between the Windsor Express and PEI Island Storm in a best of seven series.

The good news is the league will finally crown a new champion, its first since it’s inception back in 2011 as the London Lightning finally were knocked off after back-to-back championships, paving the way for a new team to earn a a title in the nine-team league.

“We want it run professionally. We don’t want this type of garbage,” Frijia said.

He said he knows his position won’t be universally popular among the team owners.

“They will tell me I breached the conditions of the league” by releasing the documents, Frijia said. “And I’ll tell them to f— themselves.”

Mr. Frijia’s response comes out a day after NBL Canada commissioner Paul Riley issued a statement mentioning that the league supports the actions taken by Windsor Express owner Dartis Willis to effectively give the boot to London Lightning columnist Morris Dalla Costa who has been expressing his views for the London Free Press for over 30 years.

Also released were details of a private email exchange between Commissioner Paul Riley and rest of the team owners.

Here is Riley’s e-mail discussing the fallout:

“Guys, how exactly is any of this media attention bad for us? No one is saying our players aren’t great. No one is saying we do not provide great family entertainment.
“They are saying, “how dare you eject a reporter!!”
“They are saying, “Paul Riley is an ass . . . among other things.”
“The residual of this whole thing is that in the last 12 hours we have received more media coverage than in the history of the league.”

Must Read:  NBL Canada owners unify, increase Canadian limit to four players at Annual General Meeting

I guess as long as they are taking about you, its all good

“Publicity is publicity” somebody once told me, but I’m willing to bet all parties associated with the National Basketball League of Canada would’ve rather see a positive image being portrayed about the league heading into the Championship series, instead we’ve got a media fiasco that will surely leave investors, sponsors and media wondering if the management/leadership really understand the true impact of this latest NBL Canada soap-opera.

One thing is for the sure, the games will go on, a new champion will be crowned and more questions will be asked, but the true damage may come in the form of the National Basketball League of Canada leaving the door open for other leagues looking to establish themselves as a “True” Canadian Basketball League and one who which actually gives more opportunities to Canadian players instead of limiting the exposure, especially at time where the abundance of Canadian players are flocking to Europe after completing the collegiate careers instead of having opportunities right here at home.

The league has also had hard time finding a stable commissioner with the position change hands four times in less than four years starting with League President & Halifax Rainmen owner Andre Levingston (2011), John Kennedy (2012), Susan Gordon (2012) and now with Paul Riley (2013).

NBLC

River Lions Springer-Williams Jr. buries 10-of-12 triples, one shy of NBL Canada record

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Niagara River Lions guard Clinton Springer-Williams Jr. buried a career-best 10-of 12 triples on his  way to a 38-point night in a 108-93 win over the Windsor Express. Springer-Williams Jr. impressive performance came-up just short of Omar’ Strong’s NBL Canada record eleven three-pointers.

Springer-Williams Jr. shot 10-of-15 from the field, including for 4-of-5 from the charity stripe, he’s averaging 10.7 points per game and a scorching hot 46% from downtown for the up-start River Lions.

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NBLC

Niagara River Lions Clinton Springer-Williams Nails Step-Back Home-Opener Game-Winner

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Welcome to the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC).

The Niagara River Lions playing in the franchise’s first-ever home opener were treated to a buzzer beating shot from familiar player.

Former Brock Badgers and 2010 CIS Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Year drilled home a beautiful step-back three-pointer as the upstart Niagara River Lions coached by Ken Murray (Former Brock Badgers Head oach) defeated the London Lightning 106-104 in dramatic fashion in front of 2800 plus fan at Meridian Centre. in St. Catherines, Ontario. Clinton Springer-Williams finished the night with 15 points and eight rebounds as Niagara improved to 1-1 in their inaugural season.

 

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FIBA

Toronto 3D Taking Flight

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Basketball in Canada has grown tremendously over the last few years. With its popularity being at an all-time high it is fair to say that basketball in Canada has reached it’s prime. The Toronto Raptors could certainly take credit for the Nations view on basketball with it’s “We The North” campaign. This slogan has taken Canadians by storm. So much that the NBA has set a new D-League team in the GTA area, a Raptors affiliation called ‘Toronto 905’. The Raptors have taken advantage of the ‘buzz’ they have going on by adding two Toronto natives, a former NBA champion Cory Joseph and Anthony Bennett the first Canadian to be picked first overall in an NBA draft. This has got people believing that Tristan Thompson & Andrew Wiggins, both Toronto natives, will eventually join the Raptors as well.

This new regime in Canadian basketball translated to Canada coming out on fire at the  2015 FIBA Americas but unfortunately fell short of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil as they finished with the bronze medal. All these accomplishments and recognition has paved the way for Canadian basketball players to be driven and motivated more than ever. Having the opportunity to go to open try-outs for the 905’s D-League team, also the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) who will be going into their 5th season. For years Canadian basketball players felt that most leagues favorite Americans due to their experiences. Those who lacked the funds of going to America had slim chances of making any professional basketball league. But it seems that all of that has changed. Luckily for Canadians the NBL Canada regulates a rule which every roster should have a minimum of 4 Canadian players even though most teams have actually carried up to 7. This rule has helped many talented Canadian players earn spots on rosters. Owners and managers continue on making NBL Canada a recognized league not only around the world, but also are taking greater strides by attempting to ‘canadianize’ the league from the ownership level down to the players. One team who has some NBL Canada affiliation that stood out the most the past year as an emerging and unique Canadian force in basketball was the Toronto 3D team.

Toronto 3D is a premier basketball club in Toronto that has gained quite the name for themselves since their inception only a year and a half ago. With all the professional teams in Toronto, 3D still managed to gain some respect. Four core athletes who play on the Toronto 3D have even been invited to private Raptor’s workouts. 3D creates a balanced program that allows Canadian basketball players to develop their talents, play semi-professional basketball and gain exposure all while transitioning into the real ‘work’ world after their college/university or pro-careers. Anything that becomes after that is just a bonus: such as players landing professional basketball contracts. For a program that has launched less than two years ago, it has accomplished a lot. They represented Canada in China in May in a tournament hosted by Beijing’s ATLAS Sports and the Chinese Basketball association where they played representatives of the NBA D-League’s IOWA Energy, Cairns Taipans the Australians NBL 1st place team and the Chinese National B team. Toronto 3D has also played against teams from the IBA, CBA, participated in the Toronto’s Pro-Am games, and went undefeated with a 13-0 record in the North Border Basketball League of 2014. The action did not stop there this summer for 3D as they even had 4 players representing them during a Pan-am game scrimmage against Brazil’s National Basketball team playing alongside Toronto Raptor’s James Johnson.

Must Read:  BasketballBuzz NBL Canada Power Rankings - Dec 5, 2011

This program is starting to gain recognition and is up and coming as one of the most emerging basketball programs in Canada. Its success has landed a handful of player’s professional basketball contracts. Point guard Greg Carter out of Ottawa and a former 3X CIS Defensive player of the year received a contract with the NBL Canada Niagara River Lions. Toronto Guard Tramar Sutherland out of Toronto who played Div.1 for Little Rock Arkansas also earned himself a contract with Niagara River Lions. Denny McDonald out of Mississauga and a former Sheridan college & Trinity Western University player received a professional contract with NBL Canada’s Saint John Millrats. Shamar Coombs out of Toronto received a professional contract with the Caldas De Manizales a professional basketball club in Colombia. Overall the Toronto 3D has taken advantage of the uprising basketball opportunities in Canada and ran with it. To close the year they will have a mini tour in the United States where they will be playing against NCAA schools and semi-pro teams. With the determining goal of creating disciplined motivation, the 3D aims to help its dedicated players achieve their dreams. One things for sure is that the Toronto 3D’s future is looking bright!

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