Niagara River Lions

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About Niagara River Lions

Although they didn't become a team until 2015, the Niagara River Lions already are one of Canada's premier basketball teams. Based in St. Catharines, Ontario, the River Lions — named for the Niagara region's coat of arms, which depicts the animal — now compete in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. From 2015 to 2018, however, they were members of the National Basketball League of Canada. 

The River Lions play out of Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines. The 5,300-seat arena also is the home of the Niagara IceDogs, who play in the Ontario Hockey League. Meridian Centre opened in September 2014 and houses the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame. The River Lions' official dance and promotional team is the Niagara Lady Lions, who perform at all home games. The River Lions' mascot is Dunkin the River Lion. 

Lauded Canadian Interuniversity Sport Coach Ken Murray was tapped to guide the River Lions in their first season, but in the second half of the season he was replaced by Grâce Lokole, who stayed with the team for two years. Joe Raso was named the new coach in 2017. 

Joining the Canadian Elite Basketball League, the River Lions will be facing off against a small pool of teams that includes the Edmonton Stingers, the Fraser Valley Bandits, the Guelph Nighthawks, the Hamilton Honey Badgers, and the Saskatchewan Rattlers.