The Fraser Valley Bandits have some ‘berry’ big news.
The brand new professional basketball team, which begins play in May at the Abbotsford Centre, revealed the name of its mascot - Berry the Bandit.
The masked fox is set to become a big part of the team, and will make its first official appearance at the grand opening of the Salton Road Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge tomorrow (Wednesday).
The name was selected following a mascot naming contest launched with Highstreet Shopping Centre and the Abbotsford News. Abbotsford resident Janine Ebel submitted the name ‘Berry’ for the contest, and will receive two bronze season tickets, a photo-op with the mascot and a Bandits t-shirt.
“We were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of entries that were made for our mascot naming contest. Not only were the names clever, but they were thoughtful and reflected the history and culture that have helped make Abbotsford and the surrounding Fraser Valley the great place that it is today,” stated Bandits President and COO of CEBL Western Operations Lee Genier in a press release.
“Janine’s entry was the perfect tribute to the berry farming industry that has been the backbone of the region for generations. It’s a nod both to Abbotsford’s past and its promising future. I thank Janine for her entry and I’m excited to welcome her to Abbotsford Centre for our inaugural season.”
Bandits officials noted that the name is appropriate due to the high volume of berries being produced in both Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley.
“We are excited to hear that the Fraser Valley Bandits made their first big personnel move by selecting Berry to be their mascot,” stated Travis Drew, Director of the Promotions Committee for the BC Blueberry Council. “Agriculture, and more specifically the blueberry industry, is such a key part of the economy, the people and the landscape that it seems like the perfect fit.”
“BC Raspberries and BC Strawberries are thrilled that the Fraser Valley Bandits are honouring the generations of berry farmers in the Fraser Valley by naming their mascot Berry. As the Raspberry Capital of Canada, BC’s raspberry growers and BC’s strawberry growers look forward to supporting the Fraser Valley Bandits and Berry from the stands when the Fraser Valley Bandits take to the court in May,” said the Board of Directors for the Raspberry Industry Development Council and the BC Strawberry Growers Association.
For more on the team, visit thebandits.ca.