Abbotsford’s Marek Klassen will be back in the blue and orange of the Fraser Valley Bandits this season.
The Canadian Elite Basketball League club announced the re-signing of the Yale Secondary grad on Tuesday (April 6) morning.
The 2021 season will be the third straight year Klassen has suited up for his hometown team, and the longest tenured player in club history is also the team’s all-time leading scorer and tops in assists.
“It’s a special feeling to be able to return to the Valley and represent my city for a third straight season,” he stated in a press release. “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. 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 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. He also averaged 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.
“Marek was an extremely important piece of our cultural build last season,” stated Bandits general manager Kyle Julius. “He played a key role in our multiple fourth quarter comebacks and he has tremendous leadership skills. We are fortunate to have him back in the fold and we know he will continue to elevate our grit and grind culture.”
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.