Sukhjot Bains gets his chance to play professional basketball.

The former Tamanawis Secondary star player booked a flight to Sweden in early September after signing a contract with Helsingborg BBK, a club that plays in the second tier of the Superettan league.

Bains, 25, a six-foot-six goaltender, played for the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades in 2018-19 and 2019-20, earning a nomination to the Canada West third team all-star at the during his final year with the Abbotsford Team.

For the past 18 months he has coached at Surrey’s AthElite Basketball Academy and worked specific aspects of his own game – long distance shooting and hoop finishing – to land a pro contract somewhere, anywhere in the world.

“My agent was talking to a bunch of teams but, to be honest, I would have accepted any offer I received,” Bains, a North Delta resident who lived in Surrey for a while, told the time of Tamanawis.

“It feels good,” added Bains, revisiting his first pro contract. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do as part of my basketball career, and I can finally say, yes, I accomplished this. Starting my career in Sweden is a pretty good feeling.

At Tamanawis in his 12th year in 2014, Bains averaged 28.5 points per game, enough to earn BC’s top senior men’s basketball title in a provincial poll.

From there, he spent a post-graduation season at Peddie Prep in New Jersey, two seasons at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, and one season in the NCAA Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay program, before moving on to the UFV in the summer of 2018.

Bains also adapted to the Fraser Valley bandits of CEBL in 2019 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in integrated studies from UFV in 2020.

His trip to Sweden will be a first for Bains.

“I have some professional experience playing with the Bandits a few years ago so I think I’m ready for the level of competition,” he said. “Physically and mentally I think I’m ready for this. I’ve been training for this for a year and a half and I think I’ll be able to adapt quickly to the style of play.
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