Raso and Atuahene back with River Lions
Following a season where the Niagara River Lions made it to the Canadian Elite Basketball League championship game, it was a no brainer that head coach and general manager Victor Raso would return for the 2022 season.
Also announced Tuesday was that Antwi Atuahene will return as head of basketball operations and share GM duties with Raso.
“It was an easy decision to bring back Victor for another season with our organization,” said River Lions president Jeffrey Sotiriou. “Over the past several years, Victor has proven to be a successful leader on and off the court. In 2021, he overcame adversity and led the team to the championship game for the first time in River Lions history, and we feel confident in his ability to go even farther in 2022.”
Raso started as the lead assistant coach in 2017 when Niagara was playing in the National Basketball League of Canada and became head coach and GM when the River Lions joined the CEBL in 2019 for its inaugural season. The former CEBL coach of the year guided Niagara to a 10-4 regular season record in 2021 and the aforementioned berth in the championship game. He has an overall record of 26-18 with Niagara.
“I love the River Lions and I am happy to be back as we keep hunting for a CEBL championship,” Raso said.
Atuahene is a well-respected and well-connected figure in basketball world and will continue to play a significant role in player recruitment and acquisition. In 2021, he was able to attract Javin DeLaurier and Xavier Sneed to Niagara. Both played key roles for Niagara and went on to attend NBA training camps.
“Niagara is a special place to me,” said Atuahene. “I’m looking forward to continuing what we started through the past few seasons. The entire organization is first class from top to bottom. The hunt continues.”
The official signing of the two doesn’t mean that work will start now on the 2022 version of the River Lions.
“We are already going on the team building front,” Raso said. “We can’t sign players yet but Antwi and I are working on that and we are talking about that pretty much every day and planning for next season.”
Montreal and Scarborough have joined the league for 2022 season and it will start around the third week of May. Training camps will officially begin nine days before the season starts.