Single game tickets now on sale. Pictured is Antonio “AJ” Davis. Photo Credit: CEBL
After announcing the signing of Canadian National Team member Phil Scrubb last week, the Niagara River Lions have announced they’ve inked 6’9 American forward Antonio “AJ” Davis.
The 28-year-old from Burford, Georgia will join the team for the 2023 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) campaign after completing his season with AS Apollon Patras of the Greek HEBA A1 League, where he is currently averaging 9.6 points, 6.05 rebounds and 2.15 assists per game.
“We’re thrilled that we are able to bring back AJ for his second season with the River Lions,” said Niagara Head Coach and General Manager, Victor Raso.
“AJ is a tremendous basketball player, leader, and most importantly a great person. Being able to continue to build towards a championship with him is something I’m very grateful for!”
During the 2022 CEBL season, Davis ranked second on the team in points per game (12.5) and rebounds per game (6.23), while averaging 2.5 assists and 46.3 in field goal percentage.
Davis began his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee and transferred to University of Central Florida (UCF) after his freshman year. In three seasons with the Knights, he averaged 10.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Over the course of his career, Davis scored 1,030 points (33 at Tennessee, 997 at UCF) and finished 8th in UCF history with 633 rebounds and 7th with 319 made free throws. He earned Second Team All-Conference honours from NBC Sports and was named to The American Weekly Honour Roll five times during his senior year.
Davis comes from a basketball family, where his father, Antonio, was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft (45th overall). He went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Toronto, Chicago, and New York before becoming President of the NBA Players Association and an analyst for ESPN. AJ’s twin sister, Kaela, plays for the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA.
Davis began his professional career in 2018 with KB Prishtina of the Kosovo Basketball Superleague, where he averaged 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He went on to play for the Brisbane Bullets of the NBL Australia before returning home to the United States for a short stint with the Delaware Blue Coats and then the Stockton Kings, both of the NBA G League. In 2020, Davis signed with BC Lulea of the Swedish Basketligan and then Charilaos Trikoupis Mesologiou in the Greek A2 Basket League. Prior to joining the River Lions in 2022, he played for the Nurnberg Falcons BC of the German Pro A League.
Davis becomes the second returning player signed ahead of the 2023 season which will tip-off for the team on May 26 when they visit the Montreal Alliance.
“I am excited to be back playing in Canada again this summer,” Davis said. “I appreciate the River Lions for the opportunity to play. We got a lot of love from the region and fans last season, so I hope to see even more people come out to the Meridian Centre this year.”
River Lions single game tickets are on sale now starting as low as $20 per game. For more information visit riverlions.ca
Rod Mawhood is a lifelong Niagara native who has had the pleasure of working in all three mediums – Radio, Print and TV – for over 20 years. His first announcing gig was with the then St. Catharines Stompers. Since then he’s worked in radio and TV in Toronto, and currently is the announcer for the Niagara IceDogs and Niagara River Lions.
Rod also covers the Buffalo Bills for FOX Sports and the Buffalo Sabres for NBC Sports.