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River Lions welcome back top four leading scorers from 2023

Khalil Ahmad Niagara River Lions Khalil Ahmad - CEBL

St. Catharines, ON – The Niagara River Lions announced today the re-signing of Khalil Ahmad, Jahvon Blair, Eddie Ekiyor and Antonio ‘AJ’ Davis for the 2024 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) Season. These four returning players led the 2023 River Lions in points per game with 18.9, 15.3, 12.0, and 10.6, respectively. 

“Our goal going into this offseason was to retain as many pieces as possible from last year’s team, and this announcement gets us off to a great start towards that goal,” said Head Coach and General Manager, Victor Raso. “Khalil, AJ, Eddie and Juggy (Jahvon) are great basketball players, and great people, and being able to build upon the success we had last season and the lessons we learned was a necessary step in free agency. But we aren’t done there – more members of last year’s team will be announced soon, as well as some exciting new additions!”

Ahmad, a 6’4 guard from Corona, California returns to the River Lions for a third season after being named the 2023 CEBL Defensive Player of the Year, 2022 CEBL MVP and earning Clutch Player of the Year honours in both seasons. Ahmad spent all four years of his collegiate career at Cal State Fullerton becoming one of the most prolific scorers in school history. Ahmad’s professional career has taken him to Finland, Denmark, Israel and most recently Belgium, where he is currently averaging 14.6 points, 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game for Filou Oostende of the BNXT League.

“Niagara feels like home to me,” said Ahmad. “I am excited to return and get to work to win the championship that our fans and organization deserve. Third times a charm”

Ahmad was a late but welcome addition to the 2023 roster where he made an immediate impact leading the team in points (18.9), assists (6.0), steals (2.4) and minutes (28.9) per game, while also scoring 8 of the team’s target score winning shots in the River Lions 13-7 regular season record. 

Blair, a 6’4 guard from Brampton, Ontario returns to the River Lions for a second year boasting plenty of CEBL experience having suited up for the Newfoundland Growlers in 2022, and in 2023 representing the CEBL with the Brampton Honey Badgers in the Basketball Champions League of Americas (BCLA), and being named to ‘Team East’ in the CEBL Clash showcase. Prior to his professional career, Blair spent four seasons with basketball powerhouse, Georgetown University where in his senior year he helped the Hoyas to the Big East tournament title and an NCAA tournament berth. Blair recently signed with Ostioneros de Guaymas in Mexico whose season will tip off this weekend. 

“I can’t wait to get back to the Meridian Centre in front of the best fans in the league,” said Blair. “I am looking forward to another great summer with my teammates and coaching staff. Once again, I truly appreciate Coach Vic for giving me the opportunity to be part of this program. I’m glad to be back.”

In 2023 Blair proved to be a well-rounded combo player averaging 15.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 26.6 minutes per game while shooting an impressive 44.4% from the 3-point line. 

Ekiyor, a 6’9 forward from Ottawa, Ontario returns to the River Lions for a second season where he will be coming off a dominating campaign with Sporting CP of the Liga Betclic in Portugal where he is a top contender for league MVP currently averaging 19.6 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. With Sporting CP, Ekiyor has earned career highs in points (33), rebounds (13) and blocks (5) in three different games. A product of the Carleton University Ravens program, Ekiyor is a two-time U SPORTS champion and two-time All Canadian who ended his collegiate career as the MVP during the 2019 final 8 tournament. 

“I am extremely excited to be part of the Niagara family again!” said Ekiyor. “I had so much fun in Niagara last season and loved the support that we received from our fans. I look forward to winning a championship in 2024!”

A 2023 CEBL Defensive Player of the Year and 6th Man of the Year finalist, Ekiyor led the River Lions in rebounds per game (5.6) while contributing 12.2 points and 0.9 blocks per game. He shot 41.7 in three-point percentage and 81.5 from the foul line. Ekiyor was named the 2023 recipient of the Ben Zwolak Community Ambassador Award for his contributions to the community and his positive attitude on and off the court. 

Davis Jr., a 6’9 forward from Burford, Georgia returns to the River Lions for a third season after helping to lead the team to first place after the regular season in 2023 as captain. Born into a basketball family, AJ graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) where he finished 8th in UCF history with 633 rebounds and 7th with 319 made free throws. Davis Jr. has gained international experience playing in Kosovo, Australia, Sweden, Greece, Germany and most recently Belgium where he is currently averaging 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.5 assists for the Leuven Bears of the BNXT League. 

“I am excited to come back to Niagara and see all of our season ticket holders and fans inside the Meridian Centre,” said Davis. “I’m looking forward to another great summer as we take care of unfinished business and bring home the CEBL Championship.”

A natural leader on and off the court, Davis has proven to be a consistent and efficient part of the team averaging 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 27.6 minutes per game during the 2023 CEBL campaign.

Today’s announcement of Khalil Ahmad, Jahvon Blair, Eddie Ekiyor and AJ Davis returning to the team for 2024 marks the first players signed to the River Lions since CEBL free agency opened on February 1st. 

The Niagara River Lions are one of the original six teams of the CEBL. Playing out of Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines, the River Lions represent the twelve municipalities of the Niagara Region while living up to the River Lions moniker of pride and strength of community. Season tickets, voucher packs and group tickets are on sale now. Single game tickets are expected to go on sale in early spring. Visit for more information.