With the impending graduations of two of its leading scorers, Mike Lucier and Shawn Hill, the Lambton Lions men’s basketball club is reloading to stay competitive in the tough Ontario Colleges Athletics Association (OCAA) West Division for seasons ahead.
The Lions held an informal gathering last week to introduce players who have committed to the program for the coming season and another who might make Lambton his home a year later.
The list includes guards Xavian Edwards of Detroit, Kitchener’s Ousmane Kromah, LJ Robinson-Ceres of Bowmanville and Sudbury high school teammates Brett Holly and Kurtis Brisebois.
The Lions have also signed swingmen Jon Ashe of Toledo, Ohio and former London high school star Akot Dhal along with centre James Henriksen, also from London. Dhal, Henriksen and Kromah are all transfers from Fanshawe College.
The new players range from just under 6 feet tall to Henriksen at 6’8”.
Mason Cumming, who will be returning to St. David Catholic High School in Waterloo for a victory lap next school year, has narrowed his choice to a handful of schools, including Lambton, for the 2017-18 season. The 6’4” guard has family connections in Petrolia.
“It looks like a great program,” said Kromah, who played his high school ball at Eastwood in Kitchener before taking his game to Fanshawe. “The team (Lambton) looks like it has great chemistry.”
“It’s been fantastic,” said Holly of the visit to the campus. “They have welcomed me with open arms.”
He sees Lambton as the best place for him to take his game to the next level.
Dhal is impressed with how the student body at the college has embraced the basketball program with unwavering support, both at home and on the road.
Plans for a new $12-million athletics facility on the Lambton campus is a great recruiting tool to attract new players to Sarnia, said Lions head coach James Grant. He’s thrilled with the level of talent and character that the new players will bring to Lambton.
“It’s been a really good day,” he said. “It looks like we’ll have a solid squad for 2016-17.”
The Lions close out the home portion of its regular season with games against Mohawk and Niagara this Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Lambton women’s squad will play the same teams on the same days at 1 p.m.