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Guelph Nighthawks Announce 2021 Training Camp Roster

June 10, 2021 - Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) - Guelph Nighthawks News Release


The Guelph Nighthawks Head Coach and General Manager, Charles Kissi, determined to formulate an impressive and skillful roster for the 2021 Canadian Elite Basketball League season, returns for his third season with the Nighthawks. After placing fifth in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series, Kissi is looking to add size and versatility as well as advance the team's cohesiveness and consistency for the upcoming season. The training camp roster, including six returning players and 12 newcomers, will compete for the 2021 CEBL Championship this summer.

The 2021 Guelph Nighthawks roster includes returning players Olu Famutimi, Corey Johnson, Kimbal Mackenzie, Myles Charvis and Marcus Anderson from the 2020 roster, and Emanual Shepherd from the 2019 roster. This year, the team features international talent from the United States including Isaiah Reese and Ahmed Hill from the NBA G-League, Cat Barber from the German-BBL, and Marqueese Grayson from the BBL. The remaining eight players on the training camp roster include Canadians Amidou Bamba, Justin Jackson, Isiah Osborne, Jordan Henry, Mamadou Gueye, Maurice Walker, Tajinder Lall, and Shayok Shayok.

All together, the Guelph Nighthawks 2021 roster includes 12 players from NCAA programs, six former U SPORTS athletes, six who have represented Team Canada, four with NBA G-League experience, and 10 from top-tier European basketball leagues.

February 2021 kicked off the Nighthawks player signings for the upcoming season, beginning with free agent Canadian, Amidou Bamba. At 6-foot-8 and 240 lbs, his size and strength will be a great asset as a power forward both on the glass as well as creating big defensive plays. Bamba began playing professionally in the Spanish Basketball League, Spanish LEB Silver, where he played for CB Ciudad de Ponferrada. He is a defensive anchor, setting a career high in rebounding, while being a large focal point in the team's offense. At 23 years old, Bamba has significant growth potential and will be a strong interior and rebounding presence on the floor for the Nighthawks this season.

Heading into March, the Nighthawks announced the return of Olu Famutimi and Corey Johnson from the 2020 roster.

Famutimi rejoins the Guelph Nighthawks for his third consecutive season with the team. He was named the Nighthawks Most Valuable Player for the 2019 season, and provided tremendous leadership to his teammates both on and off the court. Famutimi has had a storied 17-year professional career with stops in Turkey, Ukraine, France and Germany, among others. While in high school, Famutimi was ranked as the seventh overall recruit by ESPN and received a prestigious invitation to play in the McDonald's All-American Game. He committed to the University of Arkansas where he played for two years before declaring for the NBA Draft. Famutimi is currently on the suspended list due to injury and will join the official roster during the season.

Johnson returns to the Nighthawks, looking to build upon his first season with the club in 2020. The 6-foot-5 guard from Ottawa, ON played in 105 games, averaging 24.4 minutes and scoring 7.2 points per game over the course of his collegiate career with Harvard University Crimson. Johnson's professional career began overseas where he played in both the Spanish LEB Silver League and the British Basketball League (BBL). The 25-year-old made his CEBL debut in the 2020 Summer Series with the Nighthawks, averaging 2.4 points over seven games. At the end of 2020, Johnson returned to the BBL where he helped guide the Leicester Riders to a 16-3 league-leading record, averaging 11.3 points.

With a focus on adding size and versatility to the roster, the Nighthawks turned to the NBA G-League to sign Americans, Isaiah Reese and Ahmed Hill, and Canadian, Justin Jackson.

Reese has three years of NCAA experience under his belt as well as two seasons with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G-League. The 6-foot-5 guard's scoring ability will be an excellent addition to this year's roster. Reese attended Canisius where he scored the first ever triple-double in the program's history and became the first Canisius sophomore since the 1993-94 season to earn All-MAAC First Team Honours. Following his collegiate career, Reese signed a contract with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA G-League. In two seasons with the Warriors Reese has averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 assists per game, while helping guide the team to the G-League playoffs in 2021.

Hill, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, joins the Guelph Nighthawks after two seasons in the NBA G-League. Hill played five seasons in the NCAA for Virginia Tech where he became a consistent starter in his last three seasons after bouncing back from an injury during his sophomore year. His professional career began with the Northern Arizona Suns in the NBA G-League, where he started 25 games and added 9.7 points per game. In 2020, he signed with the Greensboro Swarm, the G-League affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets, coming off the bench in seven games.

Jackson, the 6-foot-7 Canadian forward joins the Nighthawks following three seasons in the NBA G-League. The Scarborough native played two seasons for the University of Maryland as a consistent starter, averaging 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds over two seasons. Jackson entered the 2018 NBA Draft and was selected with the 43rd-overall pick by the Denver Nuggets. He was traded to the Orlando Magic and subsequently allocated to the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G-League, where he most recently won the 2021 G-League Championship in his second season with the team.

The 2021 CEBL U SPORTS Draft was hosted in April where the Guelph Nighthawks selected two U SPORTS athletes to join this year's roster.

Isiah Osborne was selected with the third overall pick in the first round by the Nighthawks. The 6-foot-5 guard from Windsor, ON played in both the NCAA and U SPORTS, where he concluded his post-secondary career at Carleton University. Osborne helped the Ravens to back-to-back U SPORTS Championships in 2019 and 2020, and was named the Jack Donahue Championship MVP in 2020. During the 2020 CEBL Summer Series, Osborne was signed by the Ottawa BlackJacks as a U SPORTS Developmental Player, and played off-the-bench in the final three games of their season for his first professional experience.

With the fifth pick in the second round of the 2021 CEBL U SPORTS Draft, the Nighthawks selected guard Jordan Henry. The Pickering native has been a consistent starter during his first two seasons with the McMaster Marauders, and is currently entering his third year of eligibility. Henry was named to the U SPORTS All-Rookie team in 2019, and the following season was named to the OUA All-Star 2nd Team. On January 29, 2020, Henry recorded a career-high 46 points versus the Ryerson Rams.

Following the U SPORTS Draft, the Nighthawks announced the signing of 6-foot-1 American guard Cat Barber. Barber brings a wealth of professional experience from the NBA G-League and overseas in Israel, Italy, and most recently, Germany. In college he played three seasons for North Carolina State, averaging 14.9 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. During his time in the NBA G-League, Barber played with four different teams including the Delaware 87ers, Greensboro Swarm, Erie Bayhawks, and the College Park Skyhawks. In 2019, Barber spent time with both the Erie Bayhawks, averaging 22.4 points over 14 games, and the College Park Skyhawks, averaging 22.9 points over 39 games. Most recently, Barber played overseas with Mitteldeutscher BC of the German-BBL averaging 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.

At the end of April, the Nighthawks announced two more returning players from the 2020 roster, Kimbal Mackenzie and Myles Charvis.

Mackenzie returns to the Nighthawks for his third season after a successful performance during the 2020 CEBL Summer Series and a career season with CBP Huesca in the Spanish LEB Gold League. The 6-foot-1 guard from Oakville, ON played for Bucknell University where he scored a career high 28 points against St. Bonaventure University on the opening night of his senior season. At only 22 years old, Mackenzie joined the Nighthawks about halfway through the inaugural 2019 season, immediately starting in every game he played, averaging 21.0 points

and 4.3 assists. During the 2020 CEBL Summer Series, Mackenzie produced 10.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists and was the recipient of the 2020 Nighthawks Sportsmanship Award. Following the Summer Series, Mackenzie played for CBP Huesca where he started in 12 of his 16 games played, averaging over 9.3 points.

Charvis returns to the Guelph Nighthawks for his third season of basketball in the Royal City. The Mississauga native played for the OUA Rams where his consistency and reliability was put on display game-after-game averaging 12.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He made his professional career debut halfway through the inaugural CEBL season as a U SPORTS player for the Nighthawks averaging 10.6 points and 5.1 assists per game. Despite enduring a season-ending injury during his time with K-W Titans of the NBL Canada, Charvis returned to Guelph for the 2020 Summer Series, making an impact off-the-bench following his recovery.

In May, the Nighthawks announced former Edmonton Stinger, Mamadou Gueye, to the roster. Gueye attended the University of Alberta showing athleticism and consistency where he attained a career-high 35 points against University of Regina, averaged 14.8 points per game, and was awarded Team MVP for three consecutive years (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18). He made his debut in the CEBL with the Edmonton Stingers in 2019 where he made a phenomenal impact averaging 11.9 points and 1.5 assists per game in 20 games played. Most recently, Gueye played overseas in the Japan-B3 league with Gifu where he averaged 28 minutes, 20.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 33 games. Gueye is on the suspended list while he concludes his season in Gifu and will join the Nighthawks official roster closer to the start of the 2021 CEBL season.

June arrived with the announcement of two former Nighthawks, Marcus Anderson and Emanual Shepherd.

Anderson, the 6-foot-3 guard from Brampton, ON, returns to the Nighthawks following his rookie season in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series. The 24-year-old was selected third overall by the Nighthawks in the 2020 CEBL U SPORTS Draft after his five-year career at Carleton University. Anderson became the one to watch on defense as he was named the U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year and OUA Defensive Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons (2017-18, 2018-19). During his five years as a Carleton Raven, Anderson and his team were crowned U SPORTS National Champions in four of his five seasons. Anderson was runner-up CEBL Defensive Player of the Year following the conclusion of the Summer Series.

Shepherd makes his return to the Nighthawks following his debut with the team in the inaugural 2019 CEBL season. At 6-foot-8 and 200 lbs, Shepherd's size will be a great asset both in the paint and on defense. The Toronto native attended Southern University where he transitioned into a starting role during his senior season averaging 6.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist

per game. Following the inaugural CEBL season, Shepherd was the recipient of the Nighthawks Sportsmanship Award. His confidence grew following his season with the Nighthawks when he joined the BC PH Miercurea Ciuc of the Romanian Divizia A in 2020. Shepherd became the team leader in overall points scored (349), rebounds (184), and steals (34).

The Nighthawks announced two additions to the roster, Maurice Walker and Marqueese Grayson, who both have experience playing in top-tier European professional leagues.

Walker joins the Guelph Nighthawks following five years of play overseas in several top-tier European professional leagues. At 6-foot-10 and 255 lbs, this power forward brings size and strength as he will be a significant presence both in the paint and on defense. Walker attended University of Minnesota where he scored a career-high 26 points against Penn State in one of his last games as a Golden Gopher. In his five-plus years overseas, Walker has played in many high-level leagues including stops in Italy, Latvia, France, and England. Most recently, Walker joined the Leicester Riders of the BBL averaging 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds helping the team to the top of the regular season standings.

Grayson joins the Nighthawks roster following two years in the NCAA and a career season in the BBL. The 6-foot-2 guard had a diverse collegiate career including two years at Gillette College before transferring to University of Albany for his junior year and concluding his senior season at University of Central Oklahoma. During his senior year, Grayson started all but two games, where he averaged 29 minutes, 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Following his time at Central Oklahoma, Grayson played for the London City Royals of the BBL.

June continued with the announcement of the final two additions to the training camp roster, Tajinder Lall and Shayok Shayok.

Lall, the 6-foot-6 forward from Cambridge, Ontario, joins the Guelph Nighthawks following his U SPORTS career at Carleton University. During four seasons as a Raven, Lall captured four national championships and three OUA Championships. In his senior season, Lall was selected to the OUA Second Team All-Star (2018-19). Overall, he averaged 17 minutes, 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 92 games. In the 2020 CEBL U SPORTS Draft, Lall was selected first overall to the Ottawa BlackJacks, coming off the bench for all eight games of the CEBL Summer Series.

Shayok joins the Nighthawks roster for the upcoming season following four years in the NCAA and a year overseas in Brazil. At 6-foot-9 and 225 lbs, Shayok will be a sizable presence in the paint for the Nighthawks. The Ottawa native attended Bradley University where he appeared in all 67 games, leading all 2011-12 newcomers with 26 starts, averaging 3.5 points and 3.1 rebounds, with a total of 15 blocks and 13 steals. Shayok then transferred to UMKC where he was named team captain, started all but four games he played in, and averaged 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Most recently, Shayok played for Basquete Unifacisa in the Novo Basquete Brasil (NBB) league.

Kissi commented, "The goal every year is to improve the roster in order to compete for and win a championship. I believe we have a strong group of people to build the environment, and the capacity necessary to get it done."

Optimistic about the selected roster that merges new and returning players who bring a level of both offensive and defensive abilities, Kissi says the Nighthawks will, "be a team that on the defensive end, puts a lot of pressure on the ball and has the rim protection to do that. On the offensive end, we're going to be a paint heavy team. We're going to try to get into the paint, get to the rim, and put pressure on defense".

2021 marks Kissi's third season with Guelph and he's looking to show the team's potential, "to be really tough, gritty, disciplined, and a fun team to watch. We're going to play a lot looser and we have a high level of talent that will allow these gentlemen to play loose offensively and to play really hard defensively".

The Guelph Nighthawks tip off their 2021 CEBL season on the road against the Ottawa BlackJacks on Monday, June 28th at 7:00pm ET. The Nighthawks will play a 14-game regular season to compete for the 2021 CEBL Championship.

For more information on the Guelph Nighthawks and 2021 regular season schedule, please visit: https://www.thenighthawks.ca/schedule

For full team bios and statistics: https://www.thenighthawks.ca/roster

2021 Guelph Nighthawks Training Camp Roster

Name Position Height Weight Birth

Date Hometown College Recent Team

Anderson, Marcus SG 6'3" 205 lbs April 5, 1997 Brampton, Ontario Carleton University Guelph Nighthawks (CEBL)

Bamba, Amidou PF 6'8" 240 lbs April 14th 1998

Toronto, Ontario UNC Charlotte CB Ciudad de Ponferrada (Spanish LEB Silver)

Barber, Cat* PG 6'1" 173 lbs July 25th, 1994 Hampton, Virginia NC State Mitteldeutscher BC (G-BBL)

Charvis, Myles PG 6'0" 183 lbs September 22, 1994 Mississauga, Ontario Ryerson University Guelph Nighthawks (CEBL)

Famutimi, Olu** G 6'5" 220 lbs February 21, 1984 Toronto, Ontario University of Arkansas Guelph Nighthawks (CEBL)

Grayson, Marqueese* SG 6'2" 200 lbs May 4, 1996 Tomball, Texas Central Oklahoma London City Royals (BBL)

Gueye, Mamadou** F 6'7" 192 lbs October 15, 1993 Quebec City, QC University of Alberta Gifu (Japan B-3)

Henry, Jordan (U) G 5'9" 155 lbs May 1, 1998 Pickering, Ontario McMasterUniversity McMaster University (U SPORTS)

Hill, Ahmed* SG 6'5" 209 lbs March 21, 1996 Augusta, Georgia Virginia Tech Greensboro Swarm (NBA G-League)

Jackson, Justin PF 6'7" 225 lbs February 18th, 1997 Scarborough, Ontario University of Maryland Lakeland Magic (NBA G-League)

Johnson, Corey G 6'5" 200 lbs April 19, 1996 Ottawa, Ontario Harvard University Leicester Riders (BBL)

Lall, Tajinder F 6'6" 210 lbs October 27, 1996 Cambridge, Ontario Carleton University Ottawa BlackJacks

Mackenzie, Kimbal PG 6'1" 195 lbs September 16, 1996 Oakville, Ontario Bucknell University CBP Huesca (Spanish LEB Gold)

Osborne, Isiah (U) G 6'5" 180 lbs December 10, 1996 Windsor, Ontario Carleton University Ottawa Blackjacks (CEBL)

Reese, Isaiah* G 6'5" 185 lbs December 13, 1996 Miami, Florida Canisius

College Santa Cruz Warriors (NBA G-League)

Shayok, Shayok F 6'9" 225 lbs July 25, 1992 Ottawa, Ontario University of Missouri- Kansas Basquete Unifacisa (NBB)

Shepherd, Emanual SF 6'8" 200 lbs December 29, 1995 Toronto, Ontario Southern University BC PH Miercurea Ciuc

Walker, Maurice PF 6'10" 255 lbs November 21, 1991 Scarborough, Ontario Universityof Minnesota Leicester Riders (BBL)

(U) U SPORTS Designation

* International Designation

** On Suspended List

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CBC Sports will live stream all Guelph Nighthawks games for the 2021 CEBL Season on the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. In addition, select Guelph Nighthawks games will be broadcasted nationally on CBC TV.

New for the 2021 CEBL season, and for seasons to come, is the latest OTT streaming service provided by StreamAMG. The OTT platform will provide basketball fans in Canada, the United States, and internationally, access to live CEBL games and on-demand content including highlights, interviews, and features. The CEBL is scheduled to officially launch the new OTT service internationally on June 14th, 2021. For more information, please visit cebl.ca.

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