For The Record- Fraser Valley Bandits helping pro basketball rebound in BC

Caden Fanshaw / May 16, 2019

Incorporated this year, the Bandits play in a six team all Canadian league called the CEBL (Photo by Nick Bondi)

When the Fraser Valley Bandits came to the Lower Mainland this year, the professional basketball scene came back to life.

It’s a new era for basketball in BC, when the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies left in 2001 many were left heartbroken, but in 2019, times are changing.

The Bandits are members of the six-team Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) who’s goal is to host Canadian athletes instead of forcing them to head overseas.

Andrew Savory, the Bandits Manager of Marketing and Communications says the legacy the Grizzlies left behind is something they are looking to revive.

“talk to people who saw a grizzlies game when they left back in 2001, or before they left, what they remember most wasn’t the quality of basketball, but instead the in game entertainment, and that’s something we’re trying to replicate here”

Andrew SavoryBandits Manager of Marketing and Communications

Savory says trying to attract basketball fans isn’t the organizations goal.

The long term goal is to become a centre for not only basketball fans but to attract people even if they don’t even know what a rebound is.

Savory says the entertainment aspect of the CEBL is what it’s all about. He said nowadays you can’t rely on just fans, you have to find other ways to fill the seats.

The Bandits started their tenure in Abbotsford off with a bang on opening night on May 10th hosting over 4,000 inside the Abbotsford Centre.

What is the CEBL?

The Canadian Elite Basketball League is a new league created to develop and showcase Canadian talent on Canadian soil.

Savory says the league mandates roster with 70% of its players born in Canada, and has been acknowledged by Basketball Canada and the International Basketball Federation, something that’s never been done before.

We’re really proud of the recognition from Canada Basketball, and the official first division designation. That’s something they’ve never given before”

Andrew SavoryBandits Manager of Marketing and Communications

Listen to the full interview with Andrew Savory below