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The Warden returns to Lower Mainland’s pro basketball court

Vancouver Bandits re-sign Nick Ward, the team’s most valuable and most offensive player, for 2024

The Warden – a.k.a. Nick Warden – is back for another season of play with the Vancouver Bandits.

Announcement came down on Valentine’s Day that the team’s most valuable player and fan favourite, the 6-ft. 9-in. forward from Ohio, has been re-signed with the Bandits for the 2024 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season, making Ward and head coach Kyle Julius happy.

“I am excited to return to Vancouver this summer to run it back with the Bandits family. We are building something special on the court and in the community. I can’t wait to pick up where we left off in our quest to win a CEBL championship,” Ward shared.

Julius, who is also general manager for B.C.’s professional basketball team based out of Langley Events Centre (LEC), spoke about how Ward let him push and challenge him as a player.

“Because of his positive attitude, he consistently improved as the season went on,” Julius shared.

“Nick is an extremely unique player and a great guy to be around and work with. He was one of the most efficient players in our league and consistently forced other teams to adjust their match-ups and game plans to deal with him. He draws double teams and produces at a high level,” he added.

Fans will get their first opportunity to watch Ward and the Bandits on Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m., when the Bandits open its sixth CEBL season at home against the Montreal Alliance at LEC.

Following his first year with the Bandits last summer, Ward has brought his talents to three clubs, suiting up for Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo and BC Gargzdai in Lithuania before later signing with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in the LNB Pro A French League.

Additional stops in his decorated international career include NBA Summer League (Atlanta Hawks, 2019), NBA G League (College Park Skyhawks, 2019-20), as well as clubs in Bahrain, Spain and Turkey.

Fans of the international basketball season will recognize Metropolitans 92 as the former club of current NBA rookie sensation and 2023 NBA first overall draft selection, Victor Wembanyama, who hails from France.

Ward averaged a team-high 18.5 points and 7.9 rebounds (second on the team) through 19 regular season games with the Bandits last summer. Among CEBL leaders, Ward’s field goal percentage and offensive rebounding prowess ranked him first and fourth among the league’s top players.

The Bandits, in recognition of Ward’s stellar 2023 campaign, named him the club’s team MVP and offensive player of the year, as part of the organization’s annual team awards proceedings.

2024 will be Ward’s third season in the CEBL, after previously playing for the Ottawa BlackJacks in 2021, where he was named a member of the All-CEBL First Team after leading the team in both points (17.3) and rebounds (9.1) per game.

During three seasons of NCAA Division I basketball at Michigan State University from 2016 to ‘19, Ward averaged 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game on 60.5 per cent shooting from field goal range.

Ward’s field goal percentage ranks him third all-time among Big Ten Conference men’s basketball players. In 2018-19, he was named an All-Big Ten third-team selection and led the Spartans to an NCAA Tournament Final Four appearance.

Ward and the rest of the Langley-based basketball team will play a total of 10 regular season games in 2024 at home between May 23 and July 18. The Bandits wrap up regular season action on the road against Montreal on July 28.


More information about the local team is available at and on various social media platforms.

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About the Author: Langley Advance Times Staff

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