Abbotsford’s Marek Klassen will soon be suiting up for his hometown professional basketball team.
The Fraser Valley Bandits announced Thursday that Klassen has signed a contract with the team. Klassen was chosen by the team in the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s first entry draft in the spring, but only recently finished his season with Socar Petkinspor of the Turkey Basketball First League.
“This is a special opportunity for me to come home and contribute to the development of basketball in my hometown and province,” Klassen said in a press release.
Klassen previously starred for the Yale Lions and was named the BC Provincial Player of the Year and MVP while leading Yale to the 2010 provincial crown. He went on to star for the Point Loma Nazarane in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)’s PacWest conference.
After graduating with an MBA, Klassen moved on to Europe, where he starred for the Leeds Force and Worcester Wolves in the British Basketball League. He had stops in Romania’s pro league before moving to Turkey. He averaged 11.3 points and 4.4 assists per game, while logging the most minutes for Socar Petkimspor in Turkey’s second-tier league.
Klassen will join fellow Abbotsford product Joel Friesen on the Bandits. Friesen was the team’s first draft pick and has already suited up this year. The Bandits are 0-3 after falling 102-88 to the Hamilton Honey Badgers at the Abbotsford Centre Wednesday. Although the results on the court haven’t been ideal so far, attendance has been strong, with more than 2,000 people taking in the second home game this week.