The Niagara College men's basketball program has made a move to bolster an already loaded lineup, with the announcement of the addition of point guard Johnnie Richardson. The Niagara Falls native joins the Knights from the powerhouse St. Paul Patriots high school system.
"I am excited to have Johnnie join our program" said Niagara College men's basketball head coach Keith Vassell. "He can play the game and make plays at multiple speeds, all with the maturity of a veteran player. I think his ability to shoot the ball will help him be an immediate impact while he adapts to the college game."
The talented five-foot-11 point guard is a well-known local product. He competed in the 2016 Niagara Knights high school basketball showcase event, and the Niagara Region top-10 game. He was also named the St. Paul Patriots team MVP this season.
"When I first met coach Vassell I felt he knew what I was capable of from the outset" said Richardson during a meet and greet at Niagara College's Welland campus athletic centre. "That connection and the success the program has had over the last few seasons proved to be the difference maker in my decision to choose Niagara."
Richardson will join a Knights team that finished the 2016-17 season with a record of 13-3. The team will return the bulk of its lineup, and will serve as hosts of the 2018 OCAA Championship.
"I know there's a big difference between the way the game is played at the high school and OCAA level" continued Richardson. "The College game is faster and the players are a lot more physical, but I am looking forward to the opportunity to compete."
Added Vassell "Johnnie is coming from a good program at St. Paul so I know he has been coached well and has a strong drive to win and compete."
Richardson will enroll in the Niagara College fitness and health promotion program operated out of the Welland campus beginning in September of 2017.
"School comes first, and fitness and health promotion is the program I really wanted" added Richardson. "I plan on making sure my grades are where I expect them to be, and really excelling academically."
Richardson and the rest of the Niagara College men's basketball program will officially open the 2017-18 season on September 11th when training camps opens at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre.