Friday, April 27, 2012

Training Camp Gets Underway

An'juan Wilderness
The Tampa Bay Rebels started out their training camp on April 23 with two sessions per day. In the morning they have weight lifting and skill work at the YMCA in New Tampa, and in the evenings they continue their on-court training at Freedom high school. The team has eleven players on the roster for the 2012 Florida Basketball Association (FBA) season which starts in May 5th. The Rebels will feature several local players on their roster several such as Tampa native seven-footer Matt Kendrick, Alberto Damour from USF, and Jonathan Brown from the University of Tampa. The team also picked up two players from the recent tryout held two weeks ago in the University Community Area Park. Xavier Shannon will serve as a backup forward, and Will McIntyre will come off the bench to assist on the perimeter. The Rebels also secured the services of several players with experience in the minor league circuit such as An’juan Wilderness (shown in photo), 6’7” forward Tim Ware, 6’8” Alonzo Davis, and 6’5”combo guard Shun Watson.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rebels Head to Cancun for Preseason Games

The Tampa Bay Rebels have been invited to compete in preseason games against Pioneros de Quintana Roo, one of the top teams in Latin America.  The Pioneros club competes in Mexico's top league, the LNBP.  They are also competing in the FIBA Americas Liga De Las Americas, which places the top teams from pro leagues in the FIBA Americas region into a tournament.  Teams from Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Chile compete in the international event.

After earning a trip to the Final Four of the tournament, Pioneros requested a series of games with the Rebels to prepare for their upcoming games in the Final Four, which will be hosted by La Union de Formosa from Argentina.  Joining the Pioneros in Argentina will be Obras Sanitarias (Argentina), Uniceub / BRB (Brazil), and the host team, La Union de Formosa.

"One of the things that separates the Rebels from other minor league basketball teams is that we are uniquely structured to work with international teams, tournaments, and leagues," says Andrew Phillips, Director of Scouting for the Rebels.  "Coach Rojas has ties to the international community and is in constant contact with officials from teams and leagues around the world.  It is not always easy to make these quick trips to play overseas, but we have developed a relationship with players and the international community that makes it feasible for the Rebels to take part in these competitions.  The opportunity to compete against a top team like the Pioneros club, and provide international exposure for our players is something that we strive to take advantage of as often as we can."

Stay tuned for details of the series with Pioneros de Quintana Roo...

Tampa Bay Rebels Hire Assistant Coach

Photo Courtesy of
The Tampa Bay Rebels have announced the hiring of Cedric Smith as Assistant Coach for the 2012 Florida Basketball Association season.  The hiring of Smith, a former player at the University of South Florida, allows the Rebels to add another proven basketball professional with ties to the Tampa community to their staff.  Smith is also the head coach at Freedom High School in Tampa.

During a productive career at USF, Smith worked his way into the Bulls’ record books in a number of categories.  He currently ranks first in career steals, fourth in career 3-point field goals made, and seventh in career assists.  He is also in the top ten of several other career categories.

After finishing has career with the Bulls, Smith began his career in coaching.  He served as an assistant coach with USF until moving to Virginia Tech in 2005, where he served as the Hokies strength and conditioning coach.  From 2007-2011, Smith was an assistant at Radford University, where he helped guide the team to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2009.

Rebels Release Schedule and Ticket Packages

The Tampa Bay Rebels have released their 2012 Florida Basketball Association along with pricing information for season and individual games.

The Rebels open their inaugural season on the road against Palm Beach on May 5, 2012, their first of two consecutive road games to start the season.  The Rebels’ will play their home opener on May 19th against the Heartland Prowl at Lutz Preparatory School, which is located at 17951 U.S. Highway 41 in Lutz, Florida.

Following the home opener, the Rebels will move into their official home for the 2012 season, Freedom High School, located at 17410 Commerce Park Boulevard in the New Tampa district of Northeast Tampa.  The Rebels will look to establish home court advantage at Freedom when they host the Florida Flight on June 2nd as they bring professional basketball back to Tampa.

All six home games will start at 8pm.  Season tickets can be purchased for $50 by contacting Fernando Rojas at 813-477-0934 or at until April 27, 2012, while individual game tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 each.  Fans under 13 years old will receive free admission. Please visit for additional ticket and schedule information.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rebels Hold Successful Tryout in Tampa

On Sunday, April 15, 2012, the Rebels held their first open tryout of the season at the University Area Community Center. Players came from Orlando, Tampa, Clearwater and as far away as Miami for a chance to play for the Rebels. After going through a warm-up, the group was divided into four teams that competed against each other in full-court games to evaluate players in game situations.

Rick Catala came all the way from Miami knowing firsthand what potential benefits could come by way of the tryout. “I met Coach Rojas five years ago when I was playing in a church league. He saw me, and two years later he gave me an opportunity to play professional basketball for a foreign club he was coaching then. After that experience, I played for another club, but he opened the door for me. I brought a group of players from Miami because I know Coach can give them an opportunity as well."

With the season scheduled to begin within the next month, the Rebels are looking to solidify their roster. “Our training camp starts next week, and we are looking for local talent to fill the roster that will play in the Florida Basketball Association,” Coach Rojas said. The Rebels will play their first season game in Palm Beach on May 5th.