Former Washington State University Cougar Marcus Capers has been signed by the Fraser Valley Bandits. (Washington State University Athletics photo)

Former Washington State University Cougar Marcus Capers has been signed by the Fraser Valley Bandits. (Washington State University Athletics photo)

Fraser Valley Bandits sign Washington State University product

CEBL club signs defensive specialist Marcus Capers for 2020 season

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed former Washington State University guard and defensive specialist Marcus Capers.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League club made the announcement on Wednesday, and Capers will be the final piece added to the 2020 Bandits team.

The 2019-20 campaign was his fifth consecutive season with the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada, and he averaged 38 minutes, 13.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.8 steals per game. For his efforts, Capers was named the NBLC Defensive Player of the Year.

Capers’ grit and energy on the defensive end were a large part of the Lightning’s ability to hold opponents to a league-low 32.5 per cent from three-point range, and the second-lowest points per game at 105.9 and opponent field goal percentage at 43.3.

Capers was a member of the 2016-17 edition of the Lightning that won the NBLC title and was led by current Bandits head coach and general manager Kyle Julius as part of a historic campaign that saw the team finish the regular season 35-5 and 46-7 including postseason competition.

“I’m excited to play and compete for Coach Julius again,” Capers stated in a press release. “We had tremendous success together in London and I’m keen to bring my high-octane style of play and defensive intensity to the Bandits. The coaching staff has made it clear that this group will lock in on both ends of the floor and I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

Capers started 109 of the 135 games he played at Washington State University. Over the course of four seasons he averaged 5.1 points per game on 51.8 per cent shooting from the field, as well as four rebounds and 1.7 assists. Capers played three NCAA seasons alongside current Golden State Warriors all-star Klay Thompson, including two appearances at the 2009 and 2011 National Invitation Tournaments (NIT) before beginning his professional career in 2012.

“Marcus is like family to me. He was an integral part of our first team together in the NBLC. We have won two championships together – one in Canada and one in China. Marcus is a world-class athlete and a special teammate. He is one of the best defenders and smartest players that I’ve ever had,” Julius said.

“Marcus can literally play all five positions and change the game defensively. I am really looking forward to getting back on the floor with Marcus.”

A 6-foot-4 guard from Winter Haven, Fla., Capers has played professionally in Finland, Japan and Canada.