River Lions give back to Niagara while preparing for CEBL playoffs

For the second year in a row, the team took part in its ‘Mesh Refresh’ initiative. Photo credit: Twitter/Niagara River Lions


The Niagara River Lions play their final regular season home game, before returning to the playoffs, Friday night at Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines. 

The Montreal Alliance will provide the opposition. 

However, before that, the River Lions spent two days this week giving back to Niagara with a great initiative. 

For a second straight year the pro basketball team visited community basketball courts for a ‘Mesh Refresh.’

Essentially replacing netting on basketball rims across the region.

Courts in Thorold and St. Catharines were the beneficiaries here in 2023. 

“Our team is excited to re-launch this initiative for the second summer in a row,” said Michelle Biskup, Vice President of Operations for the River Lions. 

“Replacing or adding a mesh on a basketball rim is such a small task, yet it makes a big difference, so we are proud to dedicate time towards enhancing the playing experience at parks across the Region.”

As Canadian basketball continues to grow, the River Lions recognize the importance of giving back to the community and providing opportunities for youth to engage with the sport. Since many of the selected parks currently have no mesh on the rim, installing or replacing mesh will improve the overall playing experience. 

The “Mesh Refresh” initiative aligns with the team’s commitment to fostering a vibrant basketball culture, ensuring accessible and quality playing environments for athletes, and encouraging the growth of basketball at all levels. 

Each of Niagara’s municipalities’ Parks and Recreation Department assisted in identifying which parks would receive the new Spalding meshes.

In Thorold, River Lions players provided mesh for the South Confederation Park court, and the rims at the Village of Beaverdams Park. 

“On behalf of City Council, I’d like to thank the Niagara River Lions for generously donating new mesh basketball netting at South Confederation Park and Beaverdams Village Park in the City of Thorold,” Mayor Terry Ugulin said.  

“Partnerships like this play a crucial role in strengthening and enhancing our Community. We hope to inspire our youth and residents of all ages to show off their basketball skills and help break in the new nets!”

The River Lions also refreshed the mesh in the Garden City at Barley Drive Park, Glengarry Park and Partridge Park. 

“The City of St. Catharines welcomes partnerships that enhance our recreational facilities for the benefit of our community,” said St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe. 

“This partnership with the River Lions is a fantastic opportunity to spruce up the nets at Barley Drive Park, Glengarry Park and Partridge Park, while at the same time inspiring the youth in our community to get active and improve their basketball skills.” 

The River Lions (11-7) currently sit in second place and wrap up their regular season Saturday night in Brampton against the Honey Badgers, and with a pair of wins this weekend will finish first in the CEBL Eastern Conference and receive an automatic bye to Championship Weekend in Langley British Columbia. 

If not, a home playoff date next week is still a possibility.

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