The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed former All-Canadian and University of Victoria star Chris McLaughlin.
On Wednesday, April 13, the Langley-based club announced that McLaughlin, a key member of its 2019 roster, will play the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season at the Langley Events Center (LEC).
The former Victoria Vike University and U SPORTS All-Canadian first team played six games with the Bandits in 2019, averaging 12 points, 7.8 rebounds (2.5 offensive) and 0, 8 blocks per game on 54.3 and 75.9 percent shooting from the field. and free throw line, respectively.
McLaughlin recorded two double-doubles during his 2019 campaign with the Bandits and helped Fraser Valley earn its first victory in club history on June 27, 2019, when he scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just less than 22 minutes of action.
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In the final 2021-22 season, McLaughlin took his talents overseas and played for Nam Ching of the South China Athletic Association (SCAA). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong professional league was suspended and McLaughlin’s season was cut short.
McLaughlin is looking forward to returning to the Bandits for the upcoming season.
“It was clear in 2019 that the Valley was ready for a professional team and it was great to see the club grow from afar while playing in Hong Kong,” McLaughlin remarked.
“I know the organization has championship expectations and I’m thrilled to join a group that can’t wait to get going and play some great basketball in front of our fans at the LEC.”
Bandits head coach Mike Taylor said McLaughlin “brings the physical defense from the position, rim protection and inside scoring that are part of every successful team. It’s great to have another player experienced returns and Chris’ tough, hard-working style of play is ideal for Fraser Valley fans.
A 6-foot-10 center from Oakville, Ont., McLaughlin played for Victoria from 2010-15.
During his tour with the Vikes, McLaughlin earned several year-end accolades, including Canada West Player of the Year and First-Team All-Star, as well as First-Team honors. U SPORTS All-Canadians after the 2014-15 season.
Fraser Valley enters its fourth CEBL season on the road on Wednesday, May 25 at 4:30 p.m. PT against the Ottawa BlackJacks.
After a three-game road swing to start the year, the Bandits will make their LEC debut against the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.
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