Chilliwack native Kyle Graves, along with Virgil Hill, have been named as assistant coaches for the Fraser Valley Bandits for the team’s inaugural season.

Chilliwack native Kyle Graves, along with Virgil Hill, have been named as assistant coaches for the Fraser Valley Bandits for the team’s inaugural season.

Fraser Valley Bandits hire pair of assistant coaches

Abbotsford-based pro basketball team names Graves and Hill as assistant coaches

The Fraser Valley Bandits have added a pair of assistant coaches to work alongside head coach Peter Guarasci.

Virgil Hill and Kyle Graves will be behind the bench, and also help Guarasci build the roster for the team, which begins play in the Canadian Elite Basketball League on May 9 at the Abbotsford Centre.

“It gives me immense pleasure to announce Virgil and Kyle as our assistant coaches. Together, they bring decades of experience as both players and coaches,” Guarasci said. “However, what I’m most excited about is their reputation as teachers, rather than coaches. Virgil and Kyle are lifelong learners with a true ability to connect with students and athletes. Their personable approach will greatly benefit our roster.”

Graves has a long connection to basketball in the Fraser Valley, as he starred at the high school level for Chilliwack’s Sardis Secondary and at the post-secondary level for the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. He was twice named a British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association All-Star with the Cascades, and also helped lead the team to a pair of BCCAA championships.

Graves is now a teacher at Sardis, and is the founder of the Chilliwack Basketball Club. He also served as an assistant coach for both the Cascades and UBC-O Heat basketball programs.

Hill earned a provincial silver medal during his high school basketball days in Ontario, and then played both post-secondary basketball and football at Simon Fraser University. He then spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the SFU basketball team and coached B.C.’s U19 team to a Canadian title in 1998. Hill moved on to the head coach position at the Laurentian Voyageurs of the Ontario University Athletics.

For the past eight seasons, Hill was the head of basketball at Collingwood School in West Vancouver, where he helped the team win a provincial title in 2016.

For more on the team, visit thebandits.ca.