Given the recent news from the BC Provincial NDP Government of a possible return to sport in the next short while, it’s hoped that all sports can return with a full contingent of fans in the stands.
If so t we are hearing that the Fraser Valley Bandits are one that are hoping to hit the “hardwood” in order to entertain the fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre for all home games.
Now we are hearing of a recent signing of a sic-foot centre for the Bandits to dazzle everyone with his talent.
We recently received the following press release from the Bandits on the signing and wanted to share it with you.
Enjoy the read!!!
The Fraser Valley Bandits announced Wednesday that the club has signed Brandon Gilbeck for the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season.
A seven-foot centre from Spring Green Wisconsin, Gilbeck recently played for Latina Basket during the 2020- 21 campaign in Italy’s Serie A2.
Gilbeck played 16 games and averaged 8.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game on 58.1 percent shooting from field goal range.
Gilbeck emerged as a force to be reckoned with this past season, ranking first on Latina in field goal percentage, second in total rebounds, and second in the Italian Serie A2 in blocks and blocks per game.
Among his many standout performances from his recent season in Italy, perhaps Gilbeck’s most notable was a triple-double that saw the talented big man record 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks against Rieti on Dec. 27, 2020.
Gilbeck said “I’m thrilled to join the Fraser Valley Bandits this summer. The coaching staff and front office have been welcoming and I’m excited to get after it on the court and to show our fans what our team culture is all about.”
Gilbeck is no stranger to being proficient around the rim on the offensive end and thwarting opponents on the defensive side of the basketball.
Gilbeck played four years at Western Illinois between 2015- 2019 and graduated as the school’s all-time leader in blocks (285), offensive (231), defensive (506) and total rebounds (737).
For his efforts, Gilbeck became the third player in Summit League history to be named defensive player of the year in consecutive seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19).
Gilbeck capped off an impressive four-year tenure with the Leathernecks by recording the most blocks per game in all of NCAA Division 1 after averaging 3.42 blocks per game during the 2018-19 season.
His stellar final season paved the way for Gilbeck to be named to the Denver Nuggets’ 2019 NBA Summer League roster.
“Brandon is a very unique player. He has the ability to change a game with his length and athleticism and having a player like Brandon anchor the defence allows us to really pressure the ball, be extra aggressive and turn our defence into offence.”
Bandits general manager Kyle Julius said “Brandon is an underrated big guy with a very bright future ahead of him. He makes us a unique team with size and speed,” After graduating from Western Illinois, Gilbeck took his talents overseas and began his professional career with Horsens IC in the Danish BasketLigaen.
Gilbeck averaged 9.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and a league-leading 2.9 blocks per game prior to the 2019-20 season coming to an early end due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bandits open the 2021 season at Abbotsford Centre when the club welcomes the Saskatchewan Rattlers for Fraser Valley’s home opener on Saturday, June 26.
All regular season games will be live streamed on the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices and on a new OTT streaming platform that the CEBL will unveil this spring.
A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 80 percent of its 2020 rosters being Canadians.
Players come from the NBA G League, top international leagues, the Canadian national team program, and top NCAA and U SPORTS programs.
More information about the Bandits is available at thebandits.ca.