Langley's hometown lacrosse star is coming home for the summer.
After a one-year absence, Garrett Billings is back with the defending Western Lacrosse Association champion Langley Thunder.
In 2011, Billings - a key component of the National Lacrosse League's Toronto Rock - played his summer senior A lacrosse in Ontario with the Six Nations Chiefs.
He has now rejoined the Thunder for the 2012 WLA season.
Billings will be back in a Thunder uniform in time for the team's home opener against the Burnaby Lakers this coming Wednesday, May 23 at the Langley Events Centre.
Arguably one of the top players in the world of lacrosse right now, Billings recently set the single season record in the NLL for most assists in one season (82) and was runner-up for league MVP.
"You pair Garrett with Lewis [Ratcliff] and Athan [Iannucci] and we have a potentially devastating offensive lineup," Thunder governor Rob Buchan said, adding that the team had been working on bringing Billings back for some time.
Billings' on-floor impact is sure to be measurable but he is sure to have a tremendous impact off the floor as well.
Billings is a Langley native, the most notable name in local lacrosse, and is known for giving back to the community, including being involved with Langley Minor Lacrosse.
"It's one thing to add talent like Garrett has, but to be able to combine that with the fact he's a local kid and someone the community can get behind as one of their own is a big deal for our team," Buchan said.
In 2010, his last season with the Thunder before remaining in Ontario, Billings led the team in points with 63 in 13 games played.
The previous year, 2009, he topped all Thunder point-getters with 77 in 15 games.
The Thunder's home opener gets underway at 7: 45 p.m. on the turf at the Langley Events Centre.
Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.ca.
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The Thunder is the defending WLA champion and this past September, hosted the Mann Cup at the LEC, where the local squad lost in five games to the visiting Ontario titleholders, the Brampton Excelsiors.
The Thunder has played in Langley since 2002. Owned and operated by the Buchan family, the Thunder boast a roster comprised of professional lacrosse (NLL) talent and 2011 WLA award winners Brodie MacDonald (Rookie of the Year) and head coach Rod Jensen (Coach of the Year).
For more on the team, visit www.ThunderLAX.com.