Lightning strikes in a new IBA season opener

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Your Los Angeles Lightning (linked here) starts its fourth season as a team, but the first in the International Basketball Association with back-to-back games against the Battle Creek Knights at the Gilbert Sports Arena on the campus of Cal Lutheran.

Tonight’s tip off at 7 p.m. is followed by a game Sunday at 6 p.m.

The Lightning started in the International Basketball League in 2008, winning it in 2009, but joined the 12-team IBA this season. The league started playing games on March 14.

The roster includes former NBA players Lamond Murray, Toby Bailey (left), Bryon Russell, Fred Vinson, Juaquin Hawkins, Darrick Martin and Tyus Edney. Russell, a former Lakers forward, is expected to start Saturday with last season’s top scorer, 6-8 guard Trayvon Lathan (26.4 points a game). California State senator Tony Strickland, a 6-foot-5 forward out of Whitter College, is also on the team roster.

The Lightning plays 12 of their 14-game schedule at home, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 16. The two road games are in Las Vegas on June 1-2.

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