A pair of Surrey-raised basketball players will aim to go pro at a stadium not far from where they played university hoops.
In Thursday’s Canadian Elite Basketball League U Sports draft, Parm Bains and Daniel Adediran were picked by Abbotsford-based Fraser Valley Bandits. Last season, both played for the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team.
One of seven teams in the fledgling league, the Bandits also selected Abbotsford’s Kenan Hadzovic in the second annual draft. The results are posted to cebl.ca.
Bains went second overall in the three-round draft, fresh off the best season of his university career.
A five-foot-10 guard, Bains converted on 36.9 per cent of his attempts from three-point range in 2019-20, which helped the sharpshooter solidify his place as the career recordholder for Canada West three-pointers per game at 3.24. He also finished fourth in points per game in Canada West with 19.4, while also dishing out 4.5 assists.
Bains’ 79 three-pointers this past season ranked him first in all of U Sports, first in Cascades history, and third-most in Canada West history. For his efforts, Bains was named a Canada West first team all-star.
“I feel honoured to be drafted second overall,” Bains told the Now-Leader. “I’m really thankful to everyone who was involved in the process of selecting me and it definitely was a pleasant surprise to be drafted that high.”
Bains said Abbotsford is a city he’s become very familiar with over the past three years.
“I’m used to the drive out from Surrey,” he said, “and I know a lot of people in Abbotsford now so I’m really happy to be playing here again. I’m also really happy that I get to play alongside Daniel and Kenan again. Those are two guys with very high character and I’ve developed a strong friendship with them over the past few years.”
Bains starred at Tamanawis Secondary in the mid-2010s while Adediran attended Pacific Academy, where he became one of the Fraser Valley’s top recruits of the 2016 high school class.
Adediran started 17 of the 18 games he played for the Cascades this past season. He averaged 7.3 points and six rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game. Adediran’s best game of the season was on Jan. 4 when he scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, while also grabbing five offensive rebounds (13 total) and recording two blocks against UBC Thunderbirds.
In a news release, Bandits head coach and general manager Kyle Julius said it’s important for the club to draft and develop local talent.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with U Sports and UFV toward building a lineage for post-secondary and professional players,” Julius said. “Surrey and Abbotsford are well-known hotbeds for skilled and gritty players as Parm, Daniel and Kenan each bring a toughness of character that fits the mold that we are building with the Bandits.
“All three players possess qualities we value. All of our players from our imports to our Canadians to our U Sports athletes must come to work every day and earn their opportunities. I’m looking forward to working with the U Sports players and helping them become better players and laying the foundation for becoming a pro.”
The Bandits are scheduled to open the 2020 CEBL season at the Abbotsford Centre on May 8, but like everything right now the game is in doubt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Man, with this coronavirus it’s been tough because there’s no gyms open,” Bains said. “I’ve been keeping myself in shape by doing body weight exercises at home as well as doing ball handling in my garage.”
Bains said he’s excited to get going in the CEBL league.
“Canada has a lot of talent and has needed a league like this,” he said. “They have been consistently growing and making big moves so I’m excited to see how far they are able to keep going.”