River Lions add U SPORTS players
The Niagara River Lions continue to finalize their roster for the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League season.
The latest additions to the team are through the CEBL 2022 U SPORTS Draft where Niagara landed first-round pick Lloyd Pandi and second-round selection Isaiah Bujdoso.
Pandi, a 6-foot-4 guard from Carleton University, is no stranger to the CEBL having won the league’s U SPORTS Player of the Year Award in 2020 and 2021. With the Ottawa Blackjacks in 2020, he averaged 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 22 minutes per game. He joined Niagara for the 2021 season and averaged 7.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 steals in 16 games.
This past season with Carleton, the former U SPORTS rookie of the year won his second national title at Carleton and was named the 2021-22 U SPORTS Player of the Year. Pandi averaged 15.9 points, 3.5 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals while shooting 57 per cent from the floor for the Ravens.
“I am very happy to be returning to the River Lions,” Pandi said. “The experience that I have gained over the past two CEBL seasons is invaluable and it’s given me the chance to develop and grow as a player. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.”
Victor Raso, Niagara’s head coach and co-general manager, is happy to have Pandi back with the team.
“Lloyd brings a fearlessness and joy to the game that is contagious and he made a great impression on our organization last summer,” he said. “We’re thrilled to have LP back with us for Year 2 and we expect him to take a big step forward this summer.”
Niagara shopped local with its second selection, picking Bujdoso, a 6-foot-4 guard who won an Ontario University Athletics championship this past season with the Brock Badgers.
Before joining Brock, the Hamilton native played NCAA Division 1 ball with the Loyola Ramblers and at Hutchinson Community College. With Brock, he averaged 7.2 points, 3.7 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in 19 games.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to join the Niagara River Lions,” Bujdoso said. “I’m looking forward to getting on the court and having the chance to compete against professionals and learn as much as I can this summer.”
Raso is excited to have him on the team.
“We love Isaiah’s demeanour and pace on the floor and we believe he has got the tools and mindset to be a professional basketball player.”
Training camp for the River Lions will open May 15. The River Lions, who went 10-4 in the 2021 regular season and advanced to the championship game, open the 2022 season May 25 on the road in Saskatchewan. Their home opener will be June 3 at the Meridian Centre against the expansion Montreal Alliance.
Season tickets, voucher & marquee match-up packs, group tickets and single game tickets are on sale now. Visit www.riverlions.ca/tickets for more information.