The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed guard Gentrey Thomas for the 2021 CEBL season. (Fraser Valley Bandits photo)

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed guard Gentrey Thomas for the 2021 CEBL season. (Fraser Valley Bandits photo)

Fraser Valley Bandits sign guard Gentrey Thomas

Abbotsford-based basketball club signs former UC Riverside talent

The Fraser Valley Bandits announced last week that they have signed guard Gentrey Thomas for the 2021 Canadian Elite Basketball League season.

The Nova Scotia native most recently played for the Bristol Flyers in the British Basketball League (BBL) where he was enjoying the best season of his professional career, averaging 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game over 11 regular season games. The BBL season stopped early due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.

Thomas previously suited up for the CEBL’s Saskatchewan Rattlers in 2019, averaging 12.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He also played professionally in the National Basketball League of Canada with the Moncton Magic in 2018-19, averaging 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Bandits this summer. The coaching staff and front office have made it clear that this is family-oriented culture that will outwork the opposition every night,” he stated in a press release.

Thomas began his high school career at Auburn Drive High School in Nova Scotia, but transferred after Grade 11 to the Orangeville Prep and Athlete Institute in Ontario to continue developing his game. Thomas then attended Snow College in Utah where he played two seasons for the Badgers between 2013 to 2015. Thomas consistently ranked among team leaders in various statistical categories and led Snow in defensive rebounds per game during both of his seasons with the Badgers.

His stint with the Badgers set the stage for Thomas to earn an offer from University of California, Riverside in the Big West conference of NCAA Division I. Thomas suited up two years with the Highlanders from 2015 to 2017, averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game on 43.2 per cent shooting from field goal range over the course of 55 games played (21 as a starter).

“We are really excited about Gentrey and what he adds to our team and culture,” stated Bandits general manager Kyle Julius. “He is a proven two-way combo guard who has been overlooked like many of our other players. Gentrey is another player who comes in with a chip on his shoulder and will be ready to enhance our battle level.”

The Bandits are scheduled to open the CEBL regular season in Edmonton on June 24. The team’s home opener is planned for June 26.

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