Michael Ray Richardson said that he has signed a one-year extension to his current contract and short of a job offer in the National Basketball League, Michael Ray Richardson will be with the Lightning through this year and the next.
Michael Ray Richardson signed a two-year-deal with the club when they came into existence along with the National Baskeball League of Canada last year.
It was going to happen in the end anyway, Michael Ray Richardson said. Its better that it happens now so that we can get it out of the way.
Michael Ray Richardson led the Lightning to the NBL title in its first season. It was his fourth title in six years as a coach and in those six years, hes never failed to make the final in whatever league he coached in.
Michael Ray Richardson has developed a close relationship with Lightning owner Vito Frijia and general manager Taylor Brown.
We get along, Michael Ray Richardson said. I know how Vito runs his business and a big part of winning is how the business is handled at the top.
To show the kind of relationship the three have, when Brown was asked about the financial terms of the contract he said, We pay him in donuts.
Michael Ray Richardson has been tremendous for basketball in this city. Hes a regular at community events, is accessible and asks the same of his players. Michael Ray Richardson knows how to sell the game and the job he and the Lightning have done have put the Lightning on the fast track to becoming an integral part of the community.
It was a no-brainer when deciding whether to extend Micheals contract, Brown said. Micheal Ray has been an absolute essential part of our organization. His work in the community and with the youth of London has been remarkable.
This is like a second home to me, Michael Ray Richardson said. Its nice to know you have some place where you can always come back to.
There is an understanding that if Michael Ray Richardson has an opportunity to coach in a significantly more prominent league no one will stand in his way.
Would I like to coach in the NBA? Of course, Michael Ray Richardson said. But Im not putting all my marbles in that bag.
Stability is important at the top of any organization. There are eight teams in the NBL. The Windsor Express are an expansion franchise. Of the other seven teams only three have the same coaches they started the season with last year.
It is hard to find a more competitive person than Micheal Ray. His drive and passion has helped steer this franchise," Brown said.
We are definitely excited to have him here in London and not having to compete against him. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
Kitchener-Waterloo NBL Canada team to be called Titans - 1 day ago
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Waterloo region's new professional basketball team has settled on a name. The newest franchise in the National Basketball League of Canada will be called the KW Titans. The identity was revealed after a competition was held to name the organization. The name was picked out of more than 500 entries, the team said Wednesday. Some names that didn't make the final cut include the High Techs, Angry Amish, IONs, Rim Rockers, Quantum Leaps, Berliners and Wrecking Balls. The franchise will now sh... [read more]
Waterloo region's new professional basketball team has settled on a name. The newest franchise in the National Basketball League of Canada will be called the KW Titans. The identity was revealed after a competition was held to name the organization. The name was picked out of more than 500 entries, the team said Wednesday. Some names that didn't make the final cut include the High Techs, Angry Amish, IONs, Rim Rockers, Quantum Leaps, Berliners and Wrecking Balls. The franchise will now shift its focus towards developing a new logo, which is expected to take at least a few weeks. "We're thrilled to see so much excitement around the new team," the franchise told CBC News via email. The organization also announced they have hired their first general manager: Stu Julius . With more than three decades of basketball experience, Julius has "an impressive resume," the team said. Julius was the head coach of the Wilfred Laurier University women's basketball team, the former athletic director and women's basketball coach at Lakehead University and served on the coaching staffs of the Mississauga Power and London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada. Originally from the Port Credit area of Mississauga, Julius now lives in Kitchener, according to his Facebook page. His son, Kyle, is the head coach of the London Lightning. "We are confident that with Stu's input, we will assemble a highly competitive team for the upcoming season," team ownership representative Frank Schneider said in a statement. There's no word on when tickets will be made available to the public or what the team's logo or colours will look like. It was reported that the team was in talks to play home games at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, but no official announcement has been made. However, it was confirmed that they will play in the central division, which includes London, Niagara, Windsor and Orangeville. The league is set to begin its sixth season on Dec. 26, 2016. Courtesy of: cbc.ca
London Lightning face new rival as NBL Canada announces an expansion franchise in Waterloo Region - 17 days ago
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A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional dom... [read more]
A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional domestic basketball league. The Waterloo Region team will be the fifth team in the Central Division, with London the natural rival. 'The Knights and Rangers have sold out every game for the last 20 years, there is no reason to believe the Lightning (versus the new team) won't do the same,' said NBL Canada commissioner Dave Magley . Rounding out the conference are teams in Windsor, Orangeville and Niagara. There are also five teams in the Atlantic Division in Saint John, P.E.I, Halifax and a team pending in Cape Breton. London Lightning owner Vito Frijia said the expansion team is important for the league and sees them as being 'a really successful franchise.' 'From London's and the league's perspective, KW is a great market for basketball and all of sports. It's centrally located to existing franchises . . . the ownership group is well financed, they have a good community and a lot of integrity,' he said. 'All the right ingredients are in place to make it a fantastic franchise.' One of the majority shareholders Cameron Ball, vice-president of Ball Construction, said he and his partners were approached a few months ago by the YMCA who thought Ball Construction would be a good fit to bring the team to the community. He said after they were introduced to Magley Ball and partners, Ball Construction president Jason Ball and Frank Schneider, CFO, went to a London Lightening game and were inspired to bring the same atmosphere to Waterloo. 'We were so impressed with the calibre of basketball and the fan experience, it looked like a good family atmosphere and an experience we think would be great for our region as well,' said Cameron Ball. The ownership group also includes minority shareholders Brian Foster and Jeff Berg, owners of Innofost Canada and Leon Martin, an entrepreneur from Elmira, Ont. Basketball in Canada is booming, with the likes of Toronto Raptors' Cory Joseph, former first-round draft pick Andrew Wiggins and Pan Am bronze-medallist Kia Nurse finding success and making headlines. But perhaps the most influential story line for the budding basketball market is that of Kitchener-native Jamal Murray, who was just drafted seventh overall in the NBA draft after a successful rookie season at the University of Kentucky. 'The junior programs in KW are really big and competitive. Jamal was just drafted and he is a great young man. All of that is consistent with where we are going with the league,' said Magley. 'Basketball is on another level right now, it's the greatest participation sport in Canada, more so than hockey.' The league said that with the recent success and growth in popularity of Canadian basketball, the timing is perfect for the league to capture the wave of fan support for the sport. 'I have always said basketball is poetry in motion,' said Frijia, who said the success of the Lightning has poached some Londoners from making the trek to Toronto for Raptors games. 'It is a fantastic game to present to fans because they are a lot closer to the action.' Because of all the aforementioned reasons, Ball said he believes the franchise will draw a large fan base and that they will work towards building a championship calibre team. 'We hope to field a competitive team and try to emulate the experience we saw in London, we will compete on floor, have a great family experience for the games and we hope to win a championship as soon as possible,' he said. 'Our region is a big sports minded region, we have tremendous support for the Rangers . . . and there is a lot of interest in basketball.' Magley said all the pieces to building the team are lining up nicely, starting with a naming contest going on right now where fans can suggest names for the new team, the winners will receive two free season tickets. Next, Magely said they hope to have a head coach named in August along with a Canadian only draft to start signing players. Currently there a multiple venue options, with the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium being a natural front runner as the home of the Rangers, but Magley said the venue has yet to be made official. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
Express submit six-man protected list for 2016-17 NBL of Canada season - 21 days ago
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League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18 [read more]
League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game, guard Tony Bennett, forward Maurice Bolden and Canadian forward Shaquille Keith and Canadian centre Rudolphe Joly. 'Commons and Robinson are arguably in the top 10 that ever played in the league,' Express head coach and vice-president of basketball operations Bill Jones said Thursday. 'Bennett brings experience and we have younger players with Bolden, Keith and Joly. 'If those six did come back, you've got a good base and you can build around them.' The 31-year-old Bennett said he didn't need to be placed on a protected list to ensure he would return to Windsor next season. 'Definitely an honour to be on the protected list, but I feel like it's a waste of a protection because I ain't going nowhere and Bill and Dartis (Willis, the Express president and CEO) know that,' Bennett said. 'I've told them that the last two years, but they're hard-headed.' After watching Kevin Durant bolt from Oklahoma City to Golden State and Dwayne Wade from Miami to Chicago, Jones is taking no chances. 'You have to protect yourself,' Jones said. 'You hear and understand (what Bennett said), but end of day it is a business and he was one of our best six players.' Jones also plans to keep in touch with a couple of former players. Quinnel Brown, who played in Uruguay, and DeAndre Thomas, who missed last year with a knee injury, who will help, along with Robinson, at the team's youth camps. Spots are still available for the three camps, which are open to players age eight to 15, and will be held July 11-15, July 18-22 and Aug. 8-12. 'It's an opportunity for our coaching staff and some of our players to come back and give back to the community,' Jones said. 'Canadian basketball is starting to flourish and a lot of young kids at that age really like the sport.' Two members of his coaching staff will attend the camp with bigger roles as Scott Newman and Aaron McDonald have been promoted to associate coach. Meanwhile, Tony Jones, who finished the season as associate head coach and served as head coach while Bill Jones sat out a 20-game suspension, will not return to the team. The former NCAA assistant coach is pursuing other opportunities. Newman is currently running the club's entry in the Global Basketball Summer League in Las Vegas. Jones will attend combines in Indiana, Flint, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Atlanta looking for players to get the Express back on top of the league after the club saw its two-year title run end this year. 'The league is getting better, so you have to get better players,' Jones said. 'We have to have hungry players that understand the culture of the Windsor Express.' Courtesy of: windsorstar.com
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