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Junior Cadougan signs with London Lightning

Photo Credit: David Bernacchi /
He's going to be one of those guys who are going to make you better in practice and in the game.
The London Lightning have officially signed Canadian point guard Junior Cadougan.

Cadougan, 26, is coming to the Lightning with an extensive amount of experience.

The Marquette University product has been playing in Europe for the past few seasons, most recently for Aries Trikala BC in Greece's HEBA A1 league. He had averaged 7.4 points and 2.7 assists per game in 23 appearances last season. He also had made 20 starts for the club. The North York, Ont. native also has played in Georgia and Italy.

Cadougan also helped lead his NCAA Division I college team to the Sweet Sixteen in 2012 and the Elite Eight in 2013.

Cadougan was also a member of Canada's 2015 Pan American Games team, which won a silver medal. He had also led Canada in scoring during the 2006 FIBA U-18 Americas Championships and competed at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championships.

"I've known Junior since he was young," said Lightning head coach Kyle Julius. "The biggest thing about him he has played at the highest levels his whole life. He is gritty and tough. He's an outstanding defender and an even better teammate ... He's going to be one of those guys who are going to make you better in practice and in the game."

Julius said he has known Cadougan since he was about 15 years old. He has seen the six-foot-one guard play in-person and spoke with his past coaches about his play.

“He knows all of my mutual coaches, including Leo Rautins. Coach Kyle has a reputation for developing players and that’s what I need right now, someone to push me, get me better and provide me with new opportunities,” said Cadougan in a statement. “I’ve only been in London a few days, but it’s obvious this organization cares about its players ... The fans I’ve met have already made me feel welcome and I’m excited for the opportunity to work hard for London.”

Julius said Cadougan had reached out to the Lightning last week about his interest in playing with the franchise. He said Cadougan did not like the opportunities available this season in Europe. Julius had assumed he was off the team's radar beforehand.

"We made it happen quite quickly," said Julius.

Julius said he would like to see more players who are in tough situations sign with teams in the National Basketball League of Canada.

"I think it's really important for these high-level Canadians that are going to Europe in bad situations to see a guy like Junior is going to stay home and play in front of his friends and family in a great situation," said Julius. "I think this is what this league is all about. I'm happy to be a part of his journey here in Canada."

Cadougan will join Garrett Williamson, Taylor Black, Troy Gottselig and Joel Friesen as the Lightning's Canadian players heading into training camp.

London has also not received a signed contract from Stephen Maxwell yet after matching his contract offer from the Niagara River Lions last week, according to Julius.

The Lightning will tip off the new season Dec. 26 against the River Lions.

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