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Chat With Joe

Just days after the announcement of re-signing Captain Joe Ikhinmwin, the London Lions fan base were quick to show their appraisal and welcomed the hard defensive player back to the family after spending  four years with the team.


Sticking to East London Roots


Being born and raised in the local area is important to the Captain not just for his team but for the community entering his fifth year. "It’s a great thing for the community to have someone born and raised in the local area as the captain of the only professional team in the capital and it means a great deal to me also; Knowing that years of hard work and sacrifices gets recognized by my club shows that they are dedicated to helping the state of British basketball". Added Joe.


After spending a number of seasons with the Lions, Ikhinmwin built a relationship with coaching staff, the fans and the staff behind the scenes. When asked about what his decision would be close to the trade deadline, Joe immediately stuck to his loyalty.


"Re-signing with the club wasn’t a hard decision to make; Over the last 4 season Lions have shown a real dedication to me on and off the court, they provide me with the opportunity to improve as a basketball player and a person. Not many organizations show this level of dedication to players and I’m truly honored by it".


Giving back to the community


Joe has been successful in running his own business 'Jicanwin.com' after volunteering and encouraging the youth of the fan culture which attend Lions games to become more physically active in basketball, the Lions offered their captain much more than just playing basketball and being able to make a difference in the community which made the decision to stay that much easier.


"I was approached by other teams, but Lions matched all offers and also gives me an opportunity to make a bigger difference than just play basketball. The Lions continue to be a driving force for improving the London community and this is something that is really important to me off the court; Helping to improve the local area as well as raising awareness and promoting basketball to the next generation of athletes".


Team Captain priorities


With the arrival of a new head coach and the departure of some key players, Ikhinmwin as captain brings experience and knowledge from his previous career decisions and statistics. "I feel I have been preparing for this throughout my career, I have had great veterans and coaches to learn from like Rod Brown, Julius Joseph, Joe Chapman, and Nigel Lloyd". Commented Captain Joe.


With the Lions choosing to keep Joe and remaining as captain, his goals have already been set for the team and expectations that need to be met to get the team on the right track towards the gold.


"As Captain I’m always going to expect the players and coaching staff to work hard together to reach the goals that we set from day one. Keeping the team on track in good times and hard times, falls on my shoulders and it’s a responsibility I welcome". Added Ikhinmwin


London Lions new objective


The Lions proved last season they weren't a team to be forgotten about and underestimating them would come at a high cost. Finishing middle of the table in the Championship run, the Lions Captain knows that the team is capable of making a run at the League and the Cup adding: "I definitely believe that Lions will be a top contender this season. We have high level players coming into the camp with a great new coaching staff that will give us a completely different look, feel and mentality going into this season. Each season we take a step forward and I see no difference in this season".


The Lions Captain steadily awaits the moment that the 2017/2018 season starts to prove that he is the right man to lead the Lions to victory on and off the court, making sure that the community is well looked after. 


Date added: 11/08/2017
BBC

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