Abbotsford – The Fraser Valley Bandits announced Wednesday that they have signed Joey Haywood for the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season. Haywood played three years of U SPORTS (then known as Canadian Interuniversity Sport) basketball at St. Mary’s University from 2008 to 2011 before turning pro.
A 6-foot-1 guard from Vancouver, B.C., Haywood attended Magee Secondary School. Haywood began his post-secondary playing career at Langara College, but after a short stint with the Falcons, transferred to St. Mary’s University where he would emerge as a star in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference for the Huskies.
Haywood solidified himself as one of the greatest players in Huskies and AUS history over the course of his three seasons at St. Mary’s by posting averages of 24.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game on 52.6 and 41 per cent shooting from field goal and three-point range, respectively. Haywood’s 28.8 points per game in his final season at St. Mary’s ranked him first in scoring across the entire CIS.
“I want to thank the Bandits staff and Coach Julius for giving me the opportunity to play professional basketball again,” Haywood said. “I’m excited to work with a group that will work, think and play as a family and for the opportunity to help grow the game in the Lower Mainland.”
Haywood was recognized as a first team AUS All-Star in each of his three seasons with the Huskies, and was named a second team CIS All-Canadian in 2009-10 prior to being honoured as a first team All-Canadian and winning the Frank Baldwin Memorial Trophy as the AUS’ Most Valuable Player for the 2010-11 season.
After graduating, Haywood began his professional career with the Halifax Rainmen where his game translated seamlessly to the professional level. Over four seasons with the Rainmen, Haywood twice won Canadian Player of the Year and received nods as both a league All-Star and All-Defensive team member as well.
In addition to a decorated professional playing career, Haywood has also built an international presence under the moniker of ‘King Handles’ as a professional streetballer. Labelled as “Canada’s Best Streetballer” by VICE, Haywood’s skills as a ballhandler have helped him grow into an online sensation thanks to the success of his Instagram and YouTube pages. Haywood was a member of the Vancouver streetball group known as ‘The Notic,’ which garnered acclaim and an underground following for its mixtapes and appearances at streetball exhibition games. Haywood has since toured the globe as a streetballer, playing in tournaments across Asia.
Haywood played for Bandits Head Coach and General Manager Kyle Julius as a member of the 3D Global Sports Canada team that won the 39th William Jones Cup Championship in 2017. Haywood averaged 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
“Joey is a special person and a very special player. His positive attitude is infectious and his professionalism will enhance our team culture. Joey has a unique skillset on the court. He is tenacious on both sides of the ball and his ability to generate offence quickly will allow us to play with some unique lineups and hopefully create some havoc in the process,” Julius said. “Joey and I won a major world tournament a few years back and I have wanted to work with him ever since.”
The Bandits are set to begin their second season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) this upcoming summer.