Murphy Burnatowski is transitioning from being a Stinger to being a Bandit, following an announcement in the pro basketball world today.
Fraser Valley Bandits announced Thursday that the club has signed the 2019 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) finalist for the team’s inaugural season at Langley Events Centre (LEC).
“I am excited to join Fraser Valley this summer and to engage with what I’ve heard is one of the best fanbases in the CEBL,” he said.
“The upcoming season can’t come fast enough.”
INKED: Adding to the arsenal, bringing the heat. 🔥
The Bandits are pleased to welcome 6-foot-7 forward Murphy Burnatowski to the Valley for the 2022 CEBL season.
— Fraser Valley Bandits (@FVBandits) March 24, 2022
The 2022 campaign will be Burnatowski’s second CEBL season after previously suiting up for the Hamilton Honey Badgers in 2019, helping the team earn a trip to the finals after averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 points and 2.8 assists per game on 46.8 and 33.3 per cent shooting from field goal and three-point range, respectively.
A 6 ft. 7 in. forward from Kitchener, Ont., Burnatowski recently played alongside his future Bandits running mates, Alex Campbell and Malcolm Duvivier, as members of the Edmonton Stingers at the Basketball Champions League Americas (BCLA) tournament. The Stingers represented the CEBL in the international tournament that saw the reigning champions take on the top teams of fellow domestic professional leagues from across the Americas.
Among Stingers players who suited up in at least four contests of the six-game round-robin, Burnatowski ranked first in points per game (10.3), three-pointers made per game (2.0) and second in three-point percentage (38.7 per cent).
Burnatowski enjoyed his best game of the tournament on March 6 in a loss against Real Estelí of Nicaragua when he scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 from long range while also grabbing five rebounds and two steals.
“I really enjoyed playing with Campbell and Duvivier at the BCLA, and I know we are going to translate that chemistry into a brand of basketball that is fun to watch and difficult to play against,” Burnatowski said.
His decorated professional career has taken the former NCAA Division I standout around the globe.
A product of the Canadian junior men’s national team, Burnatowski played two seasons at the University of Maine (2009-11) and Colgate University (2012-14), averaging a combined 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on 41.8 and 35.5 per cent from the field and three-point territory.
Burnatowski enjoyed his best collegiate season in 2012-13 when he averaged 17.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, placing him second in the Patriot League conference in points and fifth in three-point field goals made.
Since graduating, the left-handed sharpshooter has also played professionally in Asia (Thailand, Vietnam) and Europe (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland).
He’s signing with Fraser Valley reunites him with Bandits general manager, Kyle Julius, who coached him in Vietnam in 2018-19 as a key member of the Saigon Heat’s roster.
“Murphy is a true winner with a proven resume. He is an elite two-way player,” Julius said.
“I have known Murphy for a long time and he is one of my all-time favourite players that I have had the pleasure of coaching. Murph is a leader and is someone that will constantly push our locker room in the right direction, leading both by example and verbally. I am extremely grateful he chose to come play with us in BC this year,” the general manager added.
Fraser Valley opens its fourth CEBL season on the road on Wednesday, May 25 at 4:30 p.m. against the Ottawa BlackJacks. Following a three-game road trip to start the year, the Bandits will make its debut at LEC against the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.
Full and partial season packages are available for purchase at thebandits.ca/tickets.
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