The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed former Tennessee Volunteers player John Fields. (University of Tennessee Athletics photo)

Fraser Valley Bandits add big man John Fields

Bandits add size with former NCAA, world travelled talent

The Fraser Valley Bandits have added some size to the team for the 2020 season

The Canadian Elite Basketball League club announced the signing of 6-foot-9 forward John Fields on Tuesday, another import player that will likely see time at the four or five for the Bandits.

Fields recently played for União Desportiva (U.D.) Oliveirense in Portugal’s Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB) where he finished the 2019-20 campaign second in team scoring with 16.3 points per game, second in field goal shooting at 60.6 per cent and first in rebounds with 10.1 per game. Oliveirense was ranked fourth in the 14-team LPB with a record of 14-8. Fields’ rebounding and points per game averages placed him second and 15th in league rankings, respectively.

Fields played four years of NCAA Division I basketball between East Carolina University from 2006 to 2008, at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) in 2009-10 and at Tennessee in 2010-11. Fields began his NCAA career with the East Carolina Pirates where he was named to the conference’s All-Freshman team after ranking third on the Pirates in scoring with 9.5 points per game and leading the team with 1.9 blocks per game (49 total), field goal percentage (62.4) and free throw attempts with 134.

Fields transferred to UNCW following his second season with the Pirates. He continued to grow as an imposing force in the paint and excelled across nearly every statistical category for the UNCW Seahawks. Fields posted a team-best 8.7 rebounds per contest and ranked second on UNCW with 10.2 points per game. He also set a single-school record for rebounds in a game with 21 against Towson and an additional school record for blocks in a season with 59. Fields capped off a solid collegiate career with the Volunteers as he started 18 of the 34 games that he appeared in. Despite only averaging 11.6 minutes per game, he led Tennessee in field goal percentage by hitting 58.7 per cent of his shots and also led the Volunteers in blocked shots with 41 in total on the season. Fields finished his NCAA career with 204 blocks in 114 games.

“I am excited to join a motivated group that is focused on building a team that prioritizes a family-first culture, making an impact in the community and winning. I look forward to bringing my toughness in the post, providing leadership and working with Coach Julius and the rest of the team,” Fields stated in a press release.

One of the most impressive seasons of Fields’ decorated career was in 2018-19 when he played for the Singapore Slingers in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). Bandits Head Coach and General Manager Kyle Julius was the Head Coach for the Saigon Heat (an ABL rival) at the time and developed a familiarity and knowledge of Fields’ game and impressive play. Fields averaged 21.6 points on 53 per cent from the field, 36.7 minutes, 12.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game in 36 games. Fields won Defensive Player of the Year and the Slingers lost 3-2 in the finals against the CLS Knights of Indonesia in a best of five championship series.

“John is a big and strong physical five. He is another player that I have met in Asia. He plays the game with toughness and a resilient motor. He has had consistent success in high level leagues because of his skill, size and toughness. I’m really looking forward to working with John,” Julius stated.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits sign veteran Cameron Forte

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