2020 Bandits assistant coach David Singleton has been announced as the interim head coach for the CEBL team for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

2020 Bandits assistant coach David Singleton has been announced as the interim head coach for the CEBL team for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

Fraser Valley Bandits announce new interim head coach

2020 assistant coach David Singleton stepping into new role for 2021

The uncertainty of global travel during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shuffle in the coaching staff for the Fraser Valley Bandits.

David Singleton, an assistant coach with the Bandits in 2020, is stepping into the role of interim head coach for the team in 2021, after it was announced on Tuesday (March 9) that last year’s head coach Kyle Julius will remain in Taiwan this summer rather than risk re-entry into the Asian country in the fall.

Julius is the current head coach of the Formosa Dreamers of the Taiwan-based P.League+ and will continue his role as general manager for the Bandits.

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Julius, who led the Bandits to an appearance in the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s Summer Series final, shared on social media what it was like to quarantine in Taiwan when he returned to the country in September. It included a 15-day quarantine, lots of paper work, a negative COVID-19 test within three days of his flight and regular phone calls and temperature checks from the local police and government. If those rules are broken, large fines are levied and Julius would likely lose his job.

The CEBL is moving from a bubble format to traveling throughout the country for the season beginning in June, and Julius believes the best path for he and his family is to support the Bandits from afar.

He also signed a long term contract extension with the Dreamers back in November. The club currently has a record of 8-8 in P.League+ action this season.

“Although I am disappointed that I can’t be with the team this summer I am really excited for the organization and extremely proud of Coach Dave,” Julius stated in a press release. “He is an elite young coach with a tremendous ability to motivate and bring the best out of his players. Dave is a proven winner and he has shown he can win in difficult circumstances. He has a great mind on both sides of the ball and there is no question he will carry our grit and grind culture to another level this summer.”

Singleton has plenty of experience behind the bench outside of his time with the Bandits last season, as he has also coached professionally in Indonesia, Vietnam and New Zealand. He helped lead the Saigon Heat to a league championship in 2019.

“I’m grateful to Dylan Kular, the Bandits family and the CEBL for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started in Fraser Valley this summer,” Singleton stated in a press release. “Kyle has been a mentor to me since our time working together began in Asia. Last season was just the beginning for the Bandits. We are committed to developing a tenacious roster that is equally involved in the community as well. Fans can expect a brand of basketball that is fast-paced and requires total buy-in from our players. We will leave it all on the floor each time we step onto the court and we can’t wait to showcase a team for a Fraser Valley community that has been supportive since day one.”

The Bandits are scheduled to open the season on June 5 at the Abbotsford Centre. They are expected to announce more members of the basketball operations department and coaching staff at a later date.

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