Ryan Schmidt is officially taking over as head coach of London Lions.

As MVP trailed last month, the American – who spent all of last term with the BBL club in an unofficial capacity  – will take the helm and lead the Londoners into the EuroCup.

Formerly an assistant with the Raptors G-League outfit and currently working in Canada’s summer league, he has retained Robert Youngblood and Nikhil Lawry, and added Polat Kaya to the coaching staff.

Schmidt earned favourable reviews from Lions’ players last season for his tactical input as the team cycled through three different head coaches in a campaign of huge under-performance.

Now there is clarity, and seemingly stability. But it will be a huge challenge for someone who has only been a head coach in the off-season environment of the CEBL.

“I have been fortunate to work and learn under some great coaches in my professional career thus far and will bring that experience with me as we continue to build this club,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting our roster built and beginning the work that it will take to win domestically in the BBL as well as in the EuroCup.”

Among the roster decisions pending are whether to offer a new deal to Justin Robinson, who will likely not return from injury until late-autumn at the earliest, and how to build what will surely be a dual roster to compete in Europe while managing domestic salary cap constraints.

Lions are expected to pursue a double swoop for GB duo Ovie Soko and Tarik Phillip, BBL sources told MVP. It would fit with need to bring in some experienced Brits with a EuroCup campaign and the accompanying domestic salary cap exemptions for UK players.

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