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London Lions to host NCAA squad

18:00 05 August 2015

London Lions welcome the University of Massachusetts this month (pic: Graham Hodges)

London Lions welcome the University of Massachusetts this month (pic: Graham Hodges)

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UMass to visit Copper Box this month

London Lions will play host to the University of Massachusetts Minutemen at the Copper Box Arena last this month.

Coach Nigel Lloyd takes the reins for the first time with his new-look Lions team on Saturday August 22 (6pm), with most if not all of the squad available for selection.

And they will face a UMass side, coached by Derek Kellogg, that has just put Cady Lalanne in the NBA as he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, going on to win the NBA Summer League last month.

The UMass team is stacked with other great prospects too, including guards Donte Clark and Trey Davis, and Kellogg is excited about the trip to the capital, which concludes their European tour.

“Going on these tours are really positive,” said Kellogg. “Trips also build team spirit from being together in a foreign country for a lot of days and how you come together.

“I’m hopeful that this is a tremendous opportunity for us to come together and become a team that has the ability to be very good in our upcoming season.”

The Lions have been slowly rebuilding a roster that made it to the Championship game at the O2 Arena in May, with Lloyd adding some really exciting talent that is young and hungry.

“I am getting excited to put the likes of Nick Lewis, Kai Williams and Joe Ikhinmwin on the floor to watch their chemistry,” said Lloyd.

“Brian Voelkel will have played at this level most recently and if we can get our imports in by then as well it will be a thrilling game for London.”

Lions chief executive Vince Macaulay added: “It is fantastic to have such a respected University come and play us at the Copper Box Arena.

“This is a storied programme that has produced 16 players for the NBA, it’s just what we need to carry on from our achievements last season, a good tough test.”

The last time the Lions faced an NCAA Division programme at the Copper Box, Iowa in 2013, the game sold out, and tickets for the visit of UMass are expected to go fast.

They went on sale this week and sponsorship opportunities are also available, including game sponsorship and hospitality. Email lolly@londonlionsbasketball.com for more information.

The London Lions embark on the new season on the road in September, before their first regular home game against Leeds Force on the 25th.

Tickets for the UMass game and season tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.co.uk.

Visit londonlionsbasketball.com for more information.

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