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Bandits host play day for Grade 6 and 7 basketball enthusiasts

Two days are set aside at Langley Events Centre, today and Wednesday, for a new youth tournament

Hundreds of Langley youth are being invited to demonstrate their dribbling and shooting skills on the courts at Langley Events Centre in a brand new two-day tournament. Action kicks off today and continues Wednesday.

Vancouver Bandits, the Langley-based professional basketball team, is partnering with the Langley School District to host the inaugural Bandits Basketball Play Day – inviting Grade 6 and 7 classes from throughout the community to compete.

There will be local girls and boys from 13 Langley schools making up 30 teams. They will compete in a fun atmosphere over the course of two days with a goal of encouraging healthy active living and friendship through sport, said Bandits team president Dylan Kular.

The event, he hopes, will become an annual fixture in the community.

Twelve teams will participate in the girls edition of the event hosted at LEC today (Monday, March 27. Similarly, 18 teams will be involved with the boys tournament hosted on Wednesday, March 29.

Each team will play three games as part of the free event.

Both Play Days will begin with a brief welcome message from the Vancouver Bandits to all participating teams and will be followed by a group photo with Berry the Bandit, the official mascot of BC’s professional basketball team.

The first games of each tournament will tip-off at approximately 4:40 p.m.

“We are fortunate for the opportunity to work with some great partners to launch what I hope will be the first of many Bandits Basketball Play Days,” Kular said.

“There is no better venue than LEC for hosting a community-driven tournament like this and we are excited to welcome all students to a fun and inclusive atmosphere where they can make new friends and play a wonderful sport,” he added.

It’s not just the Bandits and school district behind this venture, noted Kular.

Various other community partners have also come together to help organize this inaugural event, including Encompass Support Services Society, Langley Events Centre, Township of Langley, Langley Township fire department, and Trinity Western University athletics department.

The Bandits – a member of the Canadian Elite Basketball League – additionally extended a special note of appreciation to all participating schools for their collaboration, Kular said.

The school roster includes Alex Hope, Coghlan Fundamental, Dorothy Peacock, Fort Langley, Glenwood, Gordon Greenwood, Langley Fundamental, Noel Booth, North Otter, Peter Ewart, Topham, and Yorkson Creek Elementaries, as well as H.D. Stafford Middle School.

Schools interested in participating in a 2024 edition of the event are kindly asked to reach out to community@thebandits.ca for more details.

In the meantime, the Bandits are preparing for tip-off in their 2023 CEBL season on Saturday, May 27, when the club takes on the Winnipeg Sea Bears at Canada Life Centre. Hometown fans will have their first chance to watch the Bandits at LEC at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 when Vancouver takes on the Calgary Surge.

More information is available at thebandits.ca.

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READ MORE ABOUT KIDS AND SPORTS: Langley-based soccer group teams up with Jumpstart


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