London Lions have added GB guard Justin Robinson and forward Momcilo Latinovic, with the promise of four more announcements to come next week.
29-year-old, 6’1″ combo guard Robinson has made full use of his interrail ticket, playing for 12 clubs in 6 years across Europe. He started last season with Doxa Lefkadas in Greece’s top flight. He moved on to Saint-Quentin in the French Pro-B league – the country’s second tier – in March. Both teams ended up bottom of their respective divisions and relegated.
He made 24 appearances for Great Britain between 2009-13 but hasn’t played since pulling out of the 2014 squad due to injury. He was cut from the preliminary squad named for last year’s EuroBasket qualifiers.
The Brixton native will add high-level experience to the other new recruits in the back court – Moritz Lanegger and Jack Isenbarger – and will presumably be the first choice at the point as well as being a key figure in the Lions’ work off the court.
Upon his arrival, he spoke of being a part of the club’s plans to enter European competition in a year’s time.
Also incoming is 27-year-old Latinovic, a 6’6″ forward, born in Serbia and in possession of a Hungarian passport.
He appears to be a lively and aggressive player, adding a further 3-point threat from the wing.
As the current 6-man roster stands, Latinovic takes the 3 spot and 6’8″ Demonte Flannigan adds more presence at the rim as power forward.
Four more signing announcements are to follow, two of which will surely be out-and-out bigs. There is just one more permit spot remaining for a starting centre, likely to follow in the footsteps of Americans Rashad Hassan, Demond Watt and Makal Stibbins. Captain Joe Ikhinmwin’s versatility playing roles 2-4 leaves some flexibility for the other remaining signings, who must be British passport holders due to BBL rules.
we didn't want to take the light away from footie! The good news, we'll have 4 in 4 days starting Monday!
— London Lions (@London_Lions) August 31, 2017
Outgoing is fans’ favourite Kevin Moyo. After finding his role in the team diminished from February onwards, the super-quick point guard has dropped down two levels to join the Essex Leopards. He’ll wear the spots for the first time in a pair of friendlies against a USA select team, tonight at Oaklands College in St Albans and again on Sunday at the Brentwood Centre.
Navid Niktash has also found a new team. After being called up to the Iranian national side this summer – qualifying through his father’s nationality – he’s joined Petrochimi Bandar Imam in the country’s top flight Super League. A fierce forward during his spell with the Lions, he’ll be best remembered for his debut dunk rather than his rebounding and frustration with BBL refereeing.
In ex-Lions news, Olumide Oyedeji has joined Luoyang, who finished 4th in the second-tier NBL in China. He’s had a year off since leaving the Lions, and on his return to the game has averaged 39 minutes in Luoyang’s two post-season games against Hanan, which stands at 1-1 going into game 3 tonight. He’s made 31 points, 17 rebounds and shot 5/11 from the line over those two games.
The new Lions team reports for pre-season on Tuesday, flying out for warm-up games in Poland. Glasgow Rocks will play the Lions on Friday 22 September in a friendly at UEL SportsDock before going over the river for the All-Stars tournament at The O2.