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ST. CATHARINES, ON – The Niagara River Lions are thrilled to announce the return of forward Mike Allison for the upcoming NBLC campaign. Allison becomes the latest signee with the franchise, returning to Niagara where the River Lions will embark on their sophomore season in the League.
“I am excited for the upcoming season and the role I am going to fill on the team as they begin to establish their core,” said Allison.
The 6-foot-9 forward made a big statement on the court last year, completing an NBLC fourth-best 1.27 blocks per game and a fifth-best 51 total blocks while tabbing an average of 6.4 points per game. Under the glass, Allison pulled down an average 5.72 rebounds per game with a season high 13 against the Windsor Express.
“A big goal for us this off-season was to build on the success our Canadian players had,” River Lions Head Coach Grâce Lokole commented. “Mike is one of the best Canadians in this league and we believe he is poised to have the best year of his career this season”.
“We are happy to re-sign Mike,” said River Lions President Jeffrey Sotiriou. “He is going to have an incredible season and we’re excited to see him compete on the floor”.
Allison brings experience from overseas where he competed for the Durham Wildcats in the British Basketball League. There, he ranked in the top ten in four categories including first in blocks per game (2.3) and sixth in offensive rebounds per game (3.1). Additionally, he put up an average of 10.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in 25.8 minutes.
Raised in Lynden, Ontario, Allison’s talents led him to play collegiate basketball for the University of Maine Black Bears where he earned American East Conference (AEC) All-Defensive Team honours his junior and senior years. He was also a two-time College Sport Madness selection, making the All-America East Third Team and the Preseason All-America East Second Team. Again Allison was an exceptional shot-blocker, ranking first in the AEC the latter half of his college career with 2.2 and 1.6 blocks per game, respectively.
The announcement marks Allison as the first Canadian player to be signed this year by the River Lions, who await their home-opening match late in December.