BELLINGHAM, Wash. â€“ Longtime Bellingham Slam all-star guard Paul Hafford will be heading down under to play basketball professionally in 2014.
The former Lynden Christian product has signed a contract with the Mandurah Magic of Australiaâ€™s State Basketball League. Mandurah is located in Western Australia, south of Perth.
Hafford, a graduate of Portland State, suited up for the Slam for five seasons from 2008 to 2012, earning himself a variety of International Basketball League honors. He was named co-MVP of the 2008 IBL championship game after leading the Slam to their first league title, and was the clubâ€™s leading scorer when they repeated as champions in 2012. He also garnered the leagueâ€™s Most Improved Player award that year.
For the 2013 IBL season, Hafford headed south and suited up for Bellinghamâ€™s
rival, the Vancouver Volcanoes. He enjoyed another superb year on the court,
guiding the Volcanoes to a 15-4 regular season record, before falling to his
former team, the Slam, in the league championship game.
In seven total seasons in the IBL split between Central Oregon, Bellingham and
Vancouver, Hafford earned three league all-star selections, averaged 19.4
points per game and currently ranks second on the leagueâ€™s all-time scoring
list with 2,520 points.
Australia will be Haffordâ€™s third stop internationally in his playing career.
He also has competed professionally in Romania and Norway.
Hafford will be the fourth former Slam player to play professionally in
Oceania. Forwards Zack Henifin and Michael Duty both spent the 2013 season in
Australia, while Tyler Amaya competed in New Zealand in 2010.
Hafford will depart in February to join his new team in Mandurah, whose season
runs from March through August.