Fraser Valley Bandits have signed former All-Canadian and University of Victoria standout Chris McLaughlin.
On Wednesday, April 13, the Langley-based club announced McLaughlin, a key member of their 2019 roster, will play the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season at Langley Events Centre (LEC).
The former University of Victoria Vike and U SPORTS first team All-Canadian suited up in six games for 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 per cent shooting from the field and free throw line, respectively.
McLaughlin posted 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 shy of 22 minutes of action.
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This past 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 put on hold 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 has been awesome to watch the growth of the club from afar while playing in Hong Kong,” McLaughlin remarked.
“I know that the organization has championship expectations and I am excited to join a group that is keen to get going and to play some great basketball in front of our fans at LEC.”
Bandits head coach Mike Taylor said McLaughlin “brings the physical post defense, rim protection and inside scoring that is part of every successful team. It is great to have another experienced player returning and Chris’ hardworking and tough playing style is great for Fraser Valley fans to identify with.
A 6-foot-10 centre from Oakville, Ont., McLaughlin played at Victoria from 2010-2015.
During his tour with the Vikes, McLaughlin earned multiple end-of-year accolades, including Canada West player of the year and first team all-star, as well as U SPORTS first team All-Canadian honours following the 2014-15 season.
Fraser Valley opens its fourth CEBL season on the road on Wednesday, May 25 at 4:30 p.m. PT against the Ottawa BlackJacks.
Following a three-game road swing to start the year, the Bandits will make their debut at LEC against the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.
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