Bandits Re-Sign Local Product, Leading Scorer, All Star Marek Klassen

Marek Klassen/Fraser Valley Bandits

Abbotsford – The Fraser Valley Bandits announced Tuesday that the club has re-signed Abbotsford native Marek Klassen for the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season.

The longest tenured player in Bandits history, the 2021 campaign will be Klassen’s third consecutive year with Fraser Valley. Klassen enters the upcoming season as the club’s all-time leading scorer and playmaker with averages of 12.6 points and 6.2 assists per game.

A 6-foot-1 guard, Klassen was a key cog in a Fraser Valley lineup that advanced to the CEBL finals in 2020. Klassen jockeyed between the point and shooting guard positions and showed an aptitude for providing timely offence and playmaking.

Klassen averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 assists (second on the team) and 1.2 steals per game over the course of six regular season games at the 2020 CEBL Summer Series. Klassen’s play improved when it mattered most as he boosted his averages to 11.5 points and 1.5 steals per game on 50 and 40 per cent shooting from field goal and three-point range, respectively, over the Bandits’ two postseason games against Hamilton and Edmonton in the CEBL semifinal and championship.

“It’s a special feeling to be able to return to the Valley and represent my city for a third straight season. The Bandits have made it clear that the team’s focus is to build in the community and to showcase a brand of basketball that is fun to watch and inspiring for fans to be part of,” Klassen said. “We took a step forward last year, but it was just the start. We have big plans and I’m excited to come home and to help build the Bandits legacy in the Valley and beyond.”

Klassen averaged a CEBL-leading 7.2 assists per game in 2019 and set the league record for assists in a game when he recorded 15 assists against the Hamilton Honey Badgers in a 100-82 victory on July 6, 2019.

For his accomplishments, Klassen was named a 2019 CEBL Second Team All-Star.

Klassen is currently playing in the Swedish Basketball League (SBL) where he is leading Borås Basket in several statistical categories. Klassen is averaging 19.7 points (first on team, second in SBL) and six assists (first on team, second in SBL) per game. Borås is currently leading the SBL in points per game and Klassen’s elite marksmanship from three-point range (47.6 per cent) has helped fuel his team’s offence.

A former BC Provincial Player of the Year and 2010 High School AAA MVP as a member of the Yale Lions, Klassen graduated with an MBA from Point Loma Nazarene University, where he starred as one of the nation’s top point guards and three-point shooters in the NAIA. While at Point Loma (2011-15), Klassen won PacWest Conference Freshman of the Year, was named to the PacWest All-Academic Team, received an All-PacWest Honorable Mention, and shot over 40% from three-point distance throughout his collegiate career. He also led Point Loma in scoring and steals as a sophomore.

The Bandits open the 2021 season at home versus Edmonton on Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m. PT at Abbotsford Centre. Fraser Valley’s home opener against Edmonton will be broadcast nationally on CBC. All regular season games will also 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.

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