River Lions ink Onu
The Niagara River Lions latest addition to their roster for the 2022 Canadian Elite Basketball League season will be coming directly from the NBA’s G League.
E.J. Onu, a six-foot-11 forward from Richmond Heights, Ohio, recently completed his first professional contract with the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League, where he averaged 5.96 points and 3.72 rebounds in 25 games. The 22-year-old’s season included his first double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds) and a career-high eight blocked shots in a game in late March.
“E.J. is a phenomenal defender, easily one of the best shot blockers in the world. He has all the offensive tools to play at the NBA level and he hasn’t even reached his ceiling yet,” said Antwi Atuahene, Niagara’s co-general manager and head of basketball operations “He’s a fearless competitor and an even better teammate. We are looking forward to having E.J. in a River Lions uniform this summer.”
That feeling is mutual.
“I am excited to play in this league and excited to experience Canada for the first time,” Onu said. “I look forward to improving both individually and as a team so that we can bring home the championship. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Onu is the second American player signed to the 2022 River Lions roster joining Khalil Ahmad. Also signed is import Tidjan Keita and Canadians Daniel Waldin-Mullings, Jaylen-Babb Harrison, Jake Babic, Alonzo Walker and Olu Ashaolu.
Prior to turning pro, Onu spent four years at NAIA school Shawnee State University and averaged 12.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game. He finished his 2020-21 campaign as a First Team NAIA All-American, the Mid-South Conference Player of the Year, a First Team All-Mid-South Conference selection and his third consecutive Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award. Shawnee State won the NAIA championship in his senior. He is the school’s career leader in blocks with 529.
In 2021, Onu played four games for the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA Summer League after going undrafted in the NBA draft.
The Niagara River Lions are one of the original six teams of the CEBL. Playing out of Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines, the River Lions represent the twelve municipalities of the Niagara Region while living up to the River Lions moniker of pride and strength of community. All ticket offerings for the 2022 season are on sale now. Visit www.riverlions.ca/tickets for more information.