Fraser Valley Bandits Sign Former NBA, Memphis Grizzlies Forward Julian Washburn
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The Fraser Valley Bandits announced Friday that the club has signed former NBA and Memphis Grizzlies forward and recent Delaware Blue Coats starter Julian Washburn for the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season.
Washburn played 18 games for the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2018-19 NBA season and averaged 14.1 minutes per game. Washburn scored an NBA career-high eight points against the Golden State Warriors on April 10, 2019, when he shot 4-of-7 from the field, grabbed six rebounds and three steals in 23 minutes of action.
A native of Duncanville, TX, Washburn has played two consecutive seasons for the Delaware Blue Coats in the NBA G League (2019-21). Washburn averaged 7.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists on 42 and 36 per cent shooting from field goal and three-point range, respectively, this past season. The Blue Coats advanced to the G League Finals where the club ultimately fell short against the Lakeland Magic. Prior to suiting up for the Blue Coats, Washburn enjoyed solid tenures with the Austin Spurs (2015-16, 2017-18, 2018-19) and Memphis Hustle (2018-19).
The Spurs defeated the Raptors 905 to win the 2017-18 G League Championship. Washburn played a key role in the title clinching victory by contributing seven points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 27 minutes of action.
"I'm thrilled to join the Fraser Valley Bandits family. It's clear that this is a team that is dedicated toward building together, both on and off the court. I'm excited to be part of the community and to showcase a brand of basketball that is up-tempo and exciting for fans," Washburn said.
Before he embarked upon his professional career, Washburn starred at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 2011-15. Washburn currently ranks first in school history in total minutes (4,448), fourth in field goals (592) and sixth in scoring (1,526 points). In his final season with the UTEP Miners, Washburn was named 2015 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, Conference USA All-Defensive Team and was chosen as one of 26 finalists for the Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year award.
Washburn averaged 11.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game on 43.5 per cent from the field over the course of his four seasons at UTEP. The six-foot-eight forward left the Miners with the reputation as a workhorse after starting 126 of the 130 games that he played. Since turning pro, Washburn has played for professional teams in Germany, New Zealand, USA and now Canada. On Nov. 25, 2018, Washburn was named a member of USA Basketball's Men's World Cup Qualifying Team as part of USA's qualifying round of games.
"Julian has played at the highest level. Having a high-level player like Julian who has played and contributed in NBA games is a tremendous asset to our organization and our locker room. Julian has great size at the wing position and much like the rest of our roster he will play and guard multiple positions and can score at all three levels. Julian will be one of our leaders and we can't wait to see him enhance our culture," Bandits general manager Kyle Julius said.
The Bandits open the 2021 season at Abbotsford Centre when the club welcomes the Saskatchewan Rattlers for Fraser Valley's home opener on Saturday, June 26. All regular season games will be live streamed on the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices and on a new OTT streaming platform that the CEBL will unveil this spring.
A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 80 percent of its 2020 rosters being Canadians. Players come from the NBA G League, top international leagues, the Canadian national team program, and top NCAA and U SPORTS programs. More information about the Bandits is available at thebandits.ca.
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