January 7, 2011 



Defensive-Minded Center Joins Team from New Mexico Thunderbirds

PORTLAND, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Quirk Chevrolet, today announced that they have acquired 7-0 center James Cripe from the Available Player Pool. Cripe is expected to join the team today and be in the lineup tonight as the Red Claws host Dakota at 8 PM.

Red Claws fans will be familiar with Cripe who played part of last season with the Springfield Armor. A product of Dayton and Northern Kentucky Universities, Cripe, 26, joins the team from the New Mexico Thunderbirds where in 14 games (9 starts) this season, he averaged 4.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg and had 8 blocks. The defensive-minded center has also spent time in Europe and Asia, spending the 2008-09 season with Link Tochigi Brex (Japan) where he participated in the Japanese JBL All-Star Game, and the 2007-08 season with Cimbria Randers (Denmark-Basketliga).To make room on the roster for Cripe, the Red Claws have waived Lawrence Westbrook.

“Under no circumstances is this a reflection on Lawrence as a player,” said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. “Lawrence has been a true professional and can play at a high level in this league. We thank him for his contributions to our organization and wish him well.”

RED CLAWS ENTERING TOUGHEST STRETCH OF SEASON, WITH 11 OF 15 ON ROAD: Following their two-game homestand against the Dakota Wizards, which concludes tonight, the Red Claws enter their toughest stretch of the season, with eleven of their next fifteen games coming away from the friendly confines of the Portland Expo. The team will head to Erie for a Sunday afternoon matinee with the BayHawks before heading to the NBA D-League Showcase at S. Padre Island, TX. The team will face the New Mexico Thunderbirds on Tuesday, January 11 and the Reno Bighorns Wednesday, January 12 at the heavily-scouted Showcase before returning home briefly on Friday, January 14 for a rematch with conference rival Erie. The team will then head back out on the road for its longest trip of the season, a week and a half jaunt through Texas for two contests each against the defending champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the expansion Texas Legends. The team will return home for a pair of games to close out the month before heading out on the road again for a weeklong trip that will take them through the Dakotas and end with a back-to-back, home-and-home set against Springfield.