The Niagara Knight's men's basketball program will open the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, October 20th when they host the Mohawk Mountaineers at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. The Knights look to continue their success against Mohawk, sweeping last year's season series 2-0.
After a 2016-2017 season that saw the Knights finish with a 13-3 regular season record, and were ranked as high as #4 in the weekly CCAA national rankings, the Knights will look to open this season with a strong performance against the rival Mountaineers in front of the hometown fans.
With most of the Knight's core players returning from the 2016-17 season, the program is excited to introduce new members to the program starting off with 1st year head coach Mike Hurley. The Niagara College alumnus played three seasons at Niagara College where he was named a league all-star in all three years, and two seasons as a Brock Badger, including his final year when he was selected as team captain. In addition to his playing experience, coach Hurley also brings significant experience at the post-secondary level having spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach with the Knights from 2003-13, winning a OCAA bronze in 2009.
Returning to the Knights this season are veteran guard's Levi Mukuna (Hamilton, Ont.), Van Hutchinson Jr. (Nassau, Bahamas), Marcus Bonnick (Brampton, Ont.), as well as forward's Jordan Wilson (Nassau, Bahamas), and Jordan McDonald (Missisauga, Ont.). This core led the Knights to the OCAA bronze medal match last year, but the veterans are confident they can lead their team to much more success this upcoming season.
New to the Knights this season are rookie guard's Johnnie Richardson (Niagara Falls, Ont.), Danny Lokole (Welland, Ont), Brent Ghkadis (Bracebridge, Ont.), Walter Agble Jr. (Brampton), Marcus Foreman (Hamilton, Ont.), Trevon Dacon-Parboodial (Toronto, Ont.), Devante Bennet (Brampton, Ont.), as well as for forward's Deysean Thompson and Kevin Cooper (Nassau, Bahamas). The Knights' program is confident that their first year players can help contribute to the winning culture that has been developed at Niagara College over many years.
The Knights finished off their exhibition schedule capturing the Dave Stewart Invitational Tournament with victories over the Centennial Colts (84-77), the Fanshawe Falcons (89-67), and in the Championship Final, the Durham Lords (85-71). Knights' third year forward Jordan Wilson was named the tournament MVP. The Knights hope that their success in the preseason can transfer into the regular season, starting with Mohawk.
Another piece of exciting new for Niagara College Basketball is the fact that Knights are set to host 2018 OCAA Championship from March 1-3. The Knights are hungry for OCAA championship success, and a win in the season opener against Mohawk is a step in the right direction.
Tip off for tonight's west divisional matchup is set for 8pm.