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River Lions add 6-foot-7 Canadian power forward

 Milton's Elijah Lufile adds physical presence and rebounding strength
Elijah Lufile has been signed by the Niagara River Lions.

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - The Niagara River Lions announced today the signing of 6-foot-7 Canadian Elijah Lufile. The 26-year old power forward from Milton is currently playing for Joensuun Kataja of the Korisliiga, Finland’s first division league, where he is averaging 12.9 points and 1.4 assists, while leading the team with 10.2 rebounds.

“Elijah is a phenomenal young man and basketball player, and we are lucky to have him on our side this summer,” said head coach and general manager Victor Raso. “One of the areas that we felt like we needed to improve from last summer was rebounding, and the addition of Elijah directly addresses that. He brings a lot to the table – he is physical, a great athlete, he is excellent attacking the rim on the pick and roll, he is improving in the post, but ultimately he is a professional rebounder who can change a game on the boards.” 

Lufile becomes the second new player added to the 2024 roster after Nathan Cayo, following the announcement of six returning players, Khalil Ahmad, AJ Davis, Eddie Ekiyor, Jahvon Blair, TJ Lall and Kimbal Mackenzie.

Lufile began his collegiate career in 2016-17 redshirting as a freshman at Lamar Community College before transferring to Midland College where he played one season averaging 13.6 points and leading the team with 8.1 rebounds, while recording 10 double-doubles in 27 starts. He then transferred to Oral Roberts University in 2019 where in his senior season he averaged 7.9 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting 71.2 per cent from the field.

In 2022 Lufile signed his first professional contract with the Salt Lake City Stars of the G-League where he played in 16 games averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds.

In early 2023 Lufile was selected to represent the CEBL playing for the Brampton Honey Badgers in the Basketball Champions League Americas (BCLA) where he scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench versus Libertadores de Queretaro. Lufile went on to play for the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada before signing with the Calgary Surge.

Lufile split the 2023 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season playing 9 games for the Calgary Surge before joining the eventual 2023 CEBL Champions, the Scarborough Shooting Stars. In 11 games with the Shooting Stars, Lufile averaged 4.2 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 44.7 per cent from the field. 

“I’m excited to win with the River Lions,” said Lufile. “They are a championship contending organization and have a great coaching staff."