Looking to put a tough inaugural season behind them, the Fraser Valley Bandits continue reloading their roster for year two in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.
Big man John Fields is the latest to join the Abbotsford-based hoops team.
Fields played four years of NCAA Div 1 basketball at East Carolina U (2006-08), the U of North Carolina-Wilmington (2009-10) and Tennessee (2010-11) before embarking on a pro career that has taken him across the planet. With the size and ability to play power forward and centre, Fields finished his NCAA career with an impressive 204 blocks in 114 games.
Fields crossed paths with current Bandits basketball boss Kyle Julius when both men were in the ASEAN Basketball League during the 2018-19 season. Julius coached the Saigon Heat while Fields played for the Singapore Slingers.
Fields averaged 21.6 points on 53 per cent shooting from the field, adding 12.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per match in 36 appearances. He won the ABL’s Defensive Player of the Year award and his Slingers advanced to the league final where they lost a best-of-five series to Indonesia’s CLS Knights.
“John is a big and strong physical five,” Julius said. “He plays the game with toughness and a resilient motor. He has had consistent success in high level leagues because of his skill, size and toughness. I’m really looking forward to working with John.”
Fields most recently played for União Desportiva (U.D.) Oliveirense in Portugal’s Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB) where he finished the 2019-20 campaign second in team scoring with 16.3 points per game, second in field goal shooting at 60.6 per cent and first in rebounds with 10.1 per game. Oliveirense was ranked fourth in the 14-team LPB with a record of 14-8.
He looks forward to a new adventure.
“I am excited to join a motivated group that is focused on building a team that prioritizes a family-first culture, making an impact in the community and winning,” Fields said. “I look forward to bringing my toughness in the post, providing leadership and working with Coach Julius and the rest of the team.”
The 2020 CEBL season was supposed to start right about now, but opening day has been pushed back to at least June by the COVID-19 pandemic.