Abu returns home
For the first time in its seven-year history, the Niagara River Lions of the Canadian Elite Basketball League will feature a homegrown talent on its roster.
On Monday, Niagara announced the signing of 6-foot-7 Saint Francis alumnus Abu Kigab. The former St. Catharines resident recently completed a stint with the Toronto Raptors team in the NBA Summer League, In his final game played in the league Sunday, Kigab had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,” Kigab said. “To have a chance to come back home and play for my local team is a dream come true. There is truly nothing like it.”
Kigab is expected to suit up Friday in Niagara’s home game against the Scarborough Shooting Stars.
“Abu is a phenomenal talent that we’ve been tracking for some time now,” said Antwi Atuahene, Niagara’s head of basketball operations and co-general manager. “He’s clearly an NBA-level player and his ability to impact winning goes far beyond the stat sheet. We are excited to bring Abu home to play for the River Lions.”
Team president Jeffrey Sotiriou can’t wait to see the 23-year-old in action.
“On behalf of the River Lions, we could not be more excited to welcome Abu home to St. Catharines to close out the 2022 CEBL season,” he said. “Today marks a historic day for our organization in signing the first-ever player from the Niagara Region and we hope that this only continues down the road. We encourage fans to come out this Friday night to cheer on Abu as he makes his homecoming in front of his family and friends.”
Born in Khartum, South Sedan, Kigab moved to St. Catharines at the age of nine and attended Queen Mary Public School and St. Francis.
Prior to committing to play NCAA Division 1 ball with Oregon, he played for Canada at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Cup and the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. In 2017 at the FIBA U19 World Cup, Kigab averaged 14.7 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game to help Canada win a gold medal. He was named a member of the tournament’s all-star team.
He played for Oregon for a year and a half before transferring to Boise State. In his final collegiate season in 2021-22, Kigab started all 35 games and averaged 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 31.5 minutes per game. He recorded one 30-point game and seven 20-point games and was named the Mountain West Championship MVP and a member of the All-Mountain West Second Team.
Tickets and voucher packs for the 2022 season are on sale now at www.riverlions.ca/tickets.