The Tampa Bay Rebels hosted the Florida Flight at Tampa's legendary Mary Help gym on July 20, 2011. The Florida Flight is based in Kissimmee, Florida and was the runner up in the 2011 Continental Basketball League (CBL) finals. The Tampa Bay Rebels will continue playing exhibition games against other minor league teams in the state of Florida and throughout the Southeast. Owner and Head Coach Fernando Rojas said, “We are building a new team in the city and these games will give us an indication of the level of play in the minor league circuit in the region."
Derrick Webster, a point guard from Montgomery, Alabama, took a 13 hour Greyhound ride for the opportunity to play for the Rebels. When asked why he would make that sacrifice, he explained, “A friend of mine played for Coach Rojas in Mexico, and he told me Coach was looking for a point guard to play for the Rebels in Tampa.” Webster continued, “I know a lot of college coaches and agents, but Coach Rojas is the only one I know that actually works as Head Coach of international clubs. My goal is to play overseas, and I know he helped other guys getting their first international contract."
D-Web had an outstanding performance against the Flight, scoring 31 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and 3 steals as the Rebels beat the Flight 118-114. Big man Jarvis Gunter, who came from Columbus, Mississippi to play for the Rebels in the summer, scored a double-double with several thunderous dunks before fouling out of the game. Jamal Thompson, from Tampa, showed the range of his shooting ability scoring 7 three point baskets, and Fred Woods, also from Tampa, filled his stat sheet with blocked shots, free throws, rebounds and 12 points on the scoreboard.
Following the victory, Coach Rojas added, “The game was well-played by both teams. The important point is that we are building something very special for the city that will touch the lives of many athletes, fans, and community members.”