Abbotsford product Marek Klassen returns for year two with the Fraser Valley Bandits after a solid first season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. (Fraser Valley Bandits)

Abbotsford product Marek Klassen returns for year two with the Fraser Valley Bandits after a solid first season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. (Fraser Valley Bandits)

Fraser Valley Bandits ready for Canadian Elite Basketball League season

Basketball boss Kyle Julius has constructed a deep and talented roster for the second year team

The Fraser Valley Bandits have announced the full training camp roster as the team prepares for the 2020 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season.

The collection of talent includes eight Canadians, two Americans and a U-Sports development athlete.

Hometown product Marek Klassen returns to the Bandits after a stellar 2019 campaign that saw the Abbotsford native and Yale secondary alum average a league-leading 7.2 assists per game in 2019. He set the CEBL record for assists in a game when he tallied 15 helpers against the Hamilton Honey Badgers in a 100-82 victory on July 6, 2019. Klassen was named a second-team CEBL all-star.

New basketball boss Kyle Julius has recruited an impressive guard corps, with decorated players such as Junior Cadougan, Malcolm Duvivier, Joey Haywood, Kyle Johnson, Jahenns Manigat and Jabs Newby all set to compete at the point and shooting guard positions.

A graduate of Marquette University, Cadougan has been a frequent member of Team Canada’s senior men’s national team who represented his country at the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup. Johnson has played for Great Britain’s national team and is entering his 10th season of professional basketball.

READ MORE: Bandits sign Mamadou Gueye away from Edmonton Stingers

READ MORE: Fraser Valley Bandits add star guard Jahenns Manigat

In addition to a deep group of guards, Julius has brought length and athleticism to the front-court in the form of Mamadou Gueye and Daniel Adediran. A six-foot-seven forward from Quebec City, Gueye starred for the Alberta Golden Bears where he averaged 15 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game over the course of an illustrious university career. Gueye played in the CEBL last year and was a key part of the Edmonton Stingers.

Adediran was selected by the Bandits in the second round of the 2020 CEBL-U SPORTS Draft and is entering his fifth year with the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. He started 17 of the 18 games he played in 2019-20, averaging 7.3 points and six rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game.

American newcomers are John Fields and Cameron Forte.

A six-foot-nine forward, Fields has the ability and size to play both the power forward and centre positions. Fields played for União Desportiva (U.D.) Oliveirense in Portugal’s Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB) this past season where he finished the 2019-20 campaign with 16.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Forte is a six-foot-seven forward from Arizona, a bruising force that uses his physicality and will to dominate around the rim. Forte recently placed with Club Atlético Goes, a professional team in the Liga Uruguaya de Basketball, where he averaged 24.2 points, eight rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

“As a coaching staff we are pleased with the construction of our roster,” said Julius, the Bandits head coach and general manager. “This group of players embodies our values of grit and grind and has the ability to play with pace and tempo. We are excited to compete with this group and fight for competitive greatness.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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