Former UVic Vikes basketball player Chris McLaughlin has been signed on to the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s Fraser Valley Bandits after an impressive debut with the team in mid-June.
On June 22, McLaughlin impressed the Bandits and Fraser Valley fans after posting 14 points for the team in an overtime loss against the Edmonton Stingers. Despite the loss, his performance — which included a highlight reel dunk — caught the attention of many.
McLaughlin played another memorable game with the Bandits on June 27 in which the team made the first win by a B.C. professional basketball team since the Vancouver Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors in 2001. The game was played in Saskatoon against the Saskatchewan Rattlers with the Bandits winning 101-89.
Showing great chemistry with his teammates, McLaughlin worked with player Marek Klassen of Abbotsford to push through the paint and leave the Rattlers struggling to defend the net.
McLaughlin, who is originally from Oakville, ON, turned pro after his fifth year at the University of Victoria in 2014-15. He led the UVic Vikes to a fourth-place finish at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport — also known as U SPORTS — championship. He also represented Canada at the World University Games in Korea where he averaged 9.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 60 per cent from the field goal range.
The former Vikes’ first pro contract was with the Basket Swans Gmunden in the Osterreichische Basketball Bundesliga (or Austrian Basketball League) after posting 19.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game on 59 per cent shooting from the field in his last season with UVic.
McLaughlin was named Canada West’s Most Outstanding Player for the 2014-15 season as well as Basketball BC Male University Athlete of the Year and University of Victoria Male Athlete of the Year.
The Canadian Elite Basketball League is a professional men’s basketball league with six teams across Canada. Its inaugural season just began this spring.