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Fraser Valley Bandits start training camp at Langley Events Centre

The team moved to Langley this year from Abbotsford
Ty Rowell, Walnut Grove native, at the Fraser Valley Bandits training camp on Friday, May 20. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

The Fraser Valley Bandits began the process of settling into their new home at the Langley Events Centre with the start of training camp on Friday, May 20.

The Bandits are about to start their fourth season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) with a road game to Ottawa on Wednesday, May 25 against the BlackJacks.

After three seasons playing in Abbotsford, the team moved to new digs for this season and has settled in Langley.

As of Friday, the 15 players selected for the training camp were still working to cement their teamwork and impress head coach Mike Taylor. Only 10 of them will dress for the first game.

“There’s definitely a need to develop some camaraderie,” said Andrew Savory, Bandits vice president.

The players are a mix of newcomers to the team this year, and returning veterans. They’ll have to live up to last year’s successful team, which finished their campaign with a 5-2 record at home and were one of the league’s top competitors.

Some have played in the NBA’s G League, its minor league organization, and a few in the NBA itself. Others come from college and university programs across North America, as they can retain their amateur status while playing in the CEBL.

There’s a 65 per cent “Canadian content” rule for players in the CEBL, noted Savory, so most of the players are originally from Canada.

That includes one local, Ty Rowell. The 6’2” point guard spent four seasons with the California Baptist University Lancers, but before that he suited up for the Walnut Grove Gators.

Others aren’t from that far afield, hailing from UBC, UFV, and UVic.

The Bandits season starts next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. PT in Ottawa.

After a three-game road series to start, their home opener will be against the Rattlers on Saturday, June 4.

READ MORE: Fraser Valley bandits announce schedule

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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