December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 13, 2013
London Lions head coach Vince Macaulay has added US centre Kramer Knutson and guard Albert Margaito the London Lions roster while Perry Lawson and Laurent Irish have both returned.
The Lions have announced a new player each day this week and Knutson becomes the Lions’ sixth new signing of the summer following the acquisition of talented British guard Margai, American forward Nick Freer, guard Ben Smith, English forward Joe Ikhinmwin and veteran Julius Joseph.
They will all link up with Lawson, Irish, point guard Rod Brown, captain Mike Martin and free-scoring Adrien Sturt ahead of the first game of the British Basketball League season at the Copper Box against Manchester Giants on September 27.
Knutson, a 6ft 9ins American, is an athletic post player who graduated from NCAA Division 1 School, University of Portland where he averaged six points and five rebounds a game before going on to play professionally in Switzerland and Romania.
Knutson played for BC Nyon in Switzerland in their LNA Premier Division and averaged 12 points and eight rebounds while shooting nearly 60 per cent from the floor and blocking two shots per game.
Macaulay said: “I can see Kramer having a lot of fun with his all energy type of game, he’s a tough defender, shot-blocker and aggressive player, just my style really.”
The 24-year-old went on to play for Sibiu in the ultra tough Romanian League and competed in the Euro Challenge, hitting 19 and 15 rebounds on several occasions.
Limited court time saw Knutson look to return to Western Europe and he said: “I’m so glad for this opportunity, I’ve heard a lot of the BBL and I’ve been keeping a keen eye on what teams are doing.
“I’m excited to join London and I just want to contribute in any way possible.”
Margai, 25, graduated from Leeds Carnegie University and joined the Surrey Heat where he has played for the last two seasons, leading them from the point guard position as they claimed a top four spot last term.
Macaulay said: “We were desperately in need of a back up point guard this season.
“Albert is an exceptional defender and will cause fits for his opponents at that position.
“I’ve been impressed by his development in the BBL over the past two years, his physical strength is a huge plus and I think fans will love his no nonsense style.”
Margai averaged eight points, two rebounds and two assists a game last term and is excited to have made the switch to the capital.
He said: “It’s home from home for me, I know Mike Martin and Julius [Joseph] are all Lions already and I have looked up to them, but I’m equally excited to learn from Rod Brown and will make sure I’m ready to compete each and every night.”
Lawson and Irish have also made a welcome return to the Lions after starring last term.
Irish joined the Lions last term, reuniting with Macaulay having played in Milton Keynes. Following stints in the BBL the 6ft 7ins graduate of Embry Riddle College in Florida went off to star in Italy, playing two years at Benevento and two seasons at Pamphilli Roma.
“Legacy lives right here in East London” said Macaulay, “Born and raised in Forest Gate, ‘L’, as we all call him is the true spirit of the game. When we talk about legacy we always talk about Joe White, Laurent’s uncle who passed away a few years ago, but in the London area Joe inspired a lot of people, and Laurent was one of them.
“He has gone on himself to inspire many young people here and in Europe and he has been fabulous in inspiring young people in our programme around London.”
Irish played a key back-up role at the centre position off the bench last season and played probably his best two games in the BBL play-off series against the Leicester Riders.
Former Hackney Community College graduate Lawson was an ever-present last term. The 6ft 2ins ace attended South Georgia Tech in the United States before coming to the BBL.
There he was part of the Newcastle Eagles clean sweep in 2006, winning every title up for grabs.
In fact, Lawson has won 10 BBL titles in his career, inlcuding two further titles at Newcastle and then won the Championship, Trophy and Play-Off title with the Mersey Tigers in 2010.
A member of the GB squad in 2006, Lawson has steadily become Mr Reliable on the basketball floor.
The Lions tip off the new season at home to Manchester Giants on Friday, September 27 at 7.30pm. For further information visit www.londonlionsbasketball.com.