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St. Catharines, ON – Niagara River Lions have just announced that they will be sending Matt Marshall to their partner team, BK 04 AC LB Spišská Nová Ves (SNV) in Slovakia.
After graduating from Brock University, averaging 10.1 points per game, Marshall was the second round draft pick for the Niagara River Lions during the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) All Canadian Draft this past September.
In early October, the River Lions announced their international partnership with Spišská Nová Ves, part of the Slovak Extraliga – the highest professional basketball league in Slovakia. Soon after, Head Coach Grace Lokole travelled overseas to train with the team for two weeks.
“As the first player to be part of our development program, Matt Marshall is the perfect candidate,” said President & General Manager, Jeffrey Sotiriou, “Matt is a hard working player who epitomizes character and helps improve team morale. We have no doubt that he will flourish as a player for SNV in Slovakia”
After Marshall made his debut for the River Lions during last week’s Exhibition Game versus the Raptors 905, coaching staff made the decision to send Marshall to Slovakia to not only help the European team improve their record, but to also aid in his development as a player.
Coach Lokole commented, “This is not only a great opportunity for Matt and our organization, but it’s also a step in the right direction for our league. The goal of the NBLC has always been to give young Canadians an opportunity. This partnership gives us the ability to send young Canadians to play in a very good league while earning a respectable salary, and experiencing the international game.”
With just one weeks notice, Marshall will fly out on Saturday and will play his first game with SNV on November 23rd. “I am extremely grateful to the River Lions for giving me the opportunity to play for Spišská Nová Ves, where I am excited to start my professional basketball career,” said Marshall. “From being drafted by Niagara and suiting up against the Raptors 905, they have given me a lot of respect and allowed me to be myself while playing the game I love. I am excited to start this new chapter of basketball and enjoy this new life experience in Europe.”
The River Lions wish Matt and his team the best of luck in their season which runs until mid-March and they look forward to Marshall returning to Canada to play with the Niagara River Lions in the future.