Lightning sets sights on IBL title
Second-year pro franchise loaded with ex-NBA players
By DAVE LOVETON - LA Lightning Media Director
The Los Angeles Lightning figures to be one of the most entertaining squads in the International Basketball League with a handful of ex-NBA players in the lineup. The Lightning, who hope to battle for a title in their second year, open their 18-game schedule on May 2-3 with home dates against the Edmonton Energy at Cal Lutheran University.
Lamond Murray, a 6-7 forward who played 11 years in the NBA, led the IBL in rebounding last year (11.9) and was fourth in scoring (26.6). Kamran Sufi dished out 22 assists in his L.A. debut and led the league in assists at 11.3. Fred Vinson, who owns the IBL record for 3-pointers in a game with 15, and Murray were All-Stars last year. Former UCLA greats Toby Bailey (24.3 ppg) and Billy Knight (IBL 3-point champion) helped drive the high-scoring attack, along with 7-foot-3 former L.A. Clipper Keith Closs.
In the 2008 season finale, guard Phil Givens scored a franchise-record 57 points in a 140-124 win over Arizona.