Tuesday, December 8, 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk with Tampa Bay Rebels owner and head coach, Fernando Rojas, and discuss all that has happened over the past 12 months. Here is a recap of our recent Q & A session with Coach Rojas:
What would you consider the high point of 2015?
For the second year in a row we were able to help one of our own players getting a full time job. Jonathan Brown is now working as a full time employee for a marketing survey company in Oldsmar. He is also the Head Coach of the Blue Sharks. Our main business is basketball but we will always support athletes willing to improve their own lives. The other success story is about Don Thomas who joined the Blue Sharks in July. He made the Rebels team that toured Mexico in October, and, after playing well against professional teams, he was invited to stay and practice with the local team.
This year you started the Blue Sharks, why?
The purpose of the Blue Sharks is to give more players the opportunity to display their basketball skills. Many local athletes want more than just playing with their friends on weekends. We open the door for quality players willing to invest the time to further their basketball careers. The system works for the right player, we look forward to keep launching new careers.
You have been doing this for a while, what are the pros and cons of minor league basketball?
The game of basketball is a great sport when the spirit of the game is understood. The game itself can provide opportunities and experiences that otherwise would not be available for most young people. Minor league sports provide a particularly important service to the community, affordable ticket pricing is one of them, but also real interaction between fans and players is something you do not see in mainstream sports. The downside is that too many times we see the game tainted by narrow minded concepts of respect and manhood. Some players forget that a real man pays his bills on time and spends time with his children. Dunking only means you can dunk.
Are you going to join any of the Florida leagues in 2016?
We are very interested in having the Rebels or Blue Sharks join one of the summer leagues in the State. There are several options out there we just need to figure out which one fits our budget and basketball goals.
You mentioned the high points of the year, what about the low points?
It is always disheartening to see young men wasting opportunities giving to them. Being part of an organized team is a great experience. However, instant gratification seems to be the biggest obstacle for young athletes.
What are your plans for 2016?
We have games outside Florida, tournaments in Tampa throughout the year, and exhibition games in Central and South Florida. The main plan is always the same: find and develop new talent.
If you would like to learn more about the Tampa Bay Rebels, please visit us online at www.tampabayrebels.com.