The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed players Brandon Gilbeck (left) and Alex Campbell for the 2021 CEBL season. (Submitted)

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed players Brandon Gilbeck (left) and Alex Campbell for the 2021 CEBL season. (Submitted)

Fraser Valley Bandits sign pair of talents

Abbotsford-based professional basketball team adds Brandon Gilbeck and Alex Campbell

The Fraser Valley Bandits have announced the signing of two players for the upcoming 2021 Canadian Elite Basketball League season.

The club added former CEBL finals most valuable player Alex Campbell and seven-footer Brandon Gilbeck this week.

Campbell was an instrumental part of the Saskatchewan Rattlers in 2019 when he served as team captain and helped the club win the inaugural CEBL championship. Campbell suited up for 19 regular season games for the Rattlers and chipped in across the board with averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game.

He did not participate in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series, but did play professionally in Canada with the PEI-based Island Storm in the National Basketball League of Canada in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Campbell suited up for Lahti Basketball in the Finnish Korisliiga during the 2020-21 season and averaged 16.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

He played his post-secondary basketball with the University of Windsor Lancers.

“I’m excited to get out to the Fraser Valley and get straight to it. Playing under guys like Kyle Julius and Dave Singleton – you already mentally prepare for a fight,” he stated in a press release. “Games, practice, wherever. I’m here for it all. Most importantly, there are guys throughout this roster who share a common mindset and are ready to work like we haven’t won anything in our lives.”

Gilbeck, a Wisconsin native, will occupy some of the space in the middle for the Bandits.

The seven-footer played for the NCAA’s Western Illinois Leatherbacks from 2015 to 2019 and set the school’s single-season record for blocks as a sophomore with 85. He averaged three blocks per game that season. Gilbeck capped off his four-year tenure with the Leathernecks by recording the most blocks per game in all of NCAA Division 1 after averaging 3.42 blocks per game during the 2018-19 season.

His final season paved the way for Gilbeck to be named to the Denver Nuggets’ 2019 NBA Summer League roster.

Following graduation he played professionally in Denmark and Italy. Back on Dec. 27, 2020 he recorded a triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks) playing for Latina Basket in Italy’s Serie A2.

“I’m thrilled to join the Fraser Valley Bandits this summer,” he stated in a press release. “The coaching staff and front office have been welcoming and I’m excited to get after it on the court and to show our fans what our team culture is all about.”

The Bandits open the regular season in Edmonton on June 24, and then host the Rattlers on June 26 at the Abbotsford Centre.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits team with Fraser Health to encourage vaccination

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