Former Los Angeles Laker Robert Sacre has been named the new assistant general manager of the Fraser Valley Bandits. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Los Angeles Laker Robert Sacre has been named the new assistant general manager of the Fraser Valley Bandits. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Fraser Valley Bandits sign former L.A. Laker as assistant GM

Canadian basketball star Robert Sacre joining Bandits front office for 2021

When he was 16 years old, Robert Sacre traveled from his native North Vancouver to Abbotsford for what he perceived to be an easier driving test to acquire his licence.

Sacre passed the test back then, but the former Los Angeles Laker is heading back to Abbotsford in 2021 for another test – this time with the Fraser Valley Bandits as he steps into his role as the team’s new assistant general manager.

Basketball fans may remember Sacre as a teammate of Kobe Bryant on the purple and gold from 2012 to 2016, but he also excelled on the college stage with the Spokane-based Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Sacre was a Bulldog from 2007 to 2012, and his top offensive season occurred in 2010-11 when he averaged 12.5 points per game. He also averaged 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.1 assists. He was a two-time (2011 and 2012) West Coast Conference all-star and was also the WCC defensive player of the year in 2012.

He was then drafted by the Lakers in the second round of the NBA draft and played 189 games during his four seasons with the club. His top offensive year was 2013-14 when he averaged 5.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Sacre played alongside NBA legends such as Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.

Following his run with the Lakers he signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, but was waived by the team before playing any regular season games with them. He went on to play three more professional seasons in Japan before retiring in 2019.

Outside of his professional runs in the sport, Sacre also represented Canada on the senior and junior international stage. He also led the Handsworth Secondary School Royals to a AAA provincial basketball title in 2006, earning most valuable player honours for that year.

Sacre, who now resides in Spokane and runs his own company called Sacre Excavation, said he initially reached out to the Bandits on social media about the potential of coming aboard.

“I wanted to be a part of something special,” he said.

He explained that he also wants to help grow the game in his home province.

“I want to give back to my hometown of Vancouver and Abbotsford and all that area,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of giving back to the game of basketball to the community that I love so much.”

Sacre admitted he hasn’t watch a ton of Canadian Elite Basketball League competition, but is looking forward to getting involved on making player personnel decisions and providing his input on the type of team he wants to help build.

“We want to be gritty, we want that tough mentality,” he said. “We want to set the tone early and be aggressive. All of that combined can add up to a championship team.”

While Sacre does not have any experience managing or building a basketball team, he said he did spend a lot of time picking the brain of former Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak, who is also the current general manager of the Charlotte Hornets. Kupchak won seven NBA titles as an executive with the Lakers.

“Mitch kind of took me under his wing when I was in L.A. and I still stay in touch with him,” Sacre said. “I think just based off my knowledge of basketball the sky is the limit.”

He also said he’s looking forward to working with general manager Kyle Julius and interim head coach David Singleton.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits announce new interim head coach

“We’ve been on the phone a couple of times and I love where he’s headed with this team,” Sacre said of Julius, who will continue in the general manager from Taiwan. “The cool thing is there’s no BS between us, it’s all business and that’s what I respect about him.”

Details still need to be worked out on when Sacre will join the team, as due to COVID-19 restrictions, he would likely have to complete some sort of quarantine before arriving in Canada.

“I’m going to be up there,” he said. “It’s just a matter of this Canada deal and hopefully we can get some normality around this world.”

The Bandits are scheduled to open the CEBL season on June 5, when the Edmonton Stingers come to the Abbotsford Centre.

For more on the team, visit thebandits.ca.

abbotsfordbasketballFraser ValleyNBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Black smoke rises above Highway 17 in Surrey on Thursday. (Fraser Valley Road Report Facebook)
Fire sends thick black smoke above Surrey industrial area

Firefighters say blaze burning just off of Tannery Road and Highway 17 in Surrey

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

So far, 15 gang-related killings have occurred across Metro Vancouver in 2021. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Police report 15 gang-linked killings in Metro Vancouver in 2021 as tensions escalate

The situation has flared up again, as tensions dating back to 2008 between the UN gang and rivals including the Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and the Wolf Pack escalate

Most Read