Wednesday, November 30, 2016
With 2016 drawing to a close, we sat down with Fernando Rojas, the owner and Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Rebels, to discuss the events of the past year and the outlook heading into 2017.
What was the high point of 2016?
Our developmental program produced its first export player, and, as a team, we played more games than the year before. This level of activity made the developmental program better and stronger. Another important aspect in 2016 was the fact that we found a training facility that we can call home. The Clinic in Tampa fits our needs perfectly.
Your summer program will be in its third year of operation. What is next?
Our spring and summer program is growing and moving in the right direction. During our second season, we saw better talent joining the Blue Sharks. Still, for some players, weekly practices and basic organization was difficult to manage. We have a good roster for next year, and we are planning on adding new talent.
Are the Tampa Bay Rebels closer to joining a professional league?
The decision to join a league in the summer will be carefully considered. We want to be part of an organization that is based on professionalism and intelligent leadership. There are some options that we are currently looking into.
What about the low points this year?
Lack of commitment seems to be the biggest obstacle. Many good players miss out on the opportunity because they do not want to practice; they just want to play on the weekends. We are not a recreational basketball organization, and commitment is key.
What are your plans for 2017?
We want to increase the number of games we play in the city as well as against out of state competition. We will be looking for the next player that we can send overseas.
To learn more about the Tampa Bay Rebels organization, please visit us online at www.tampabayrebels.com.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Mexico’s LNBP, the top professional basketball league south of the border, just kicked off the 2016-17 season in early October. Coach Rojas was invited to attend the series between Correcaminos and Abejas. “Coach Garcia from Correcaminos invited me to spend some time with his club; it was a great opportunity to see the inner workings of his team. I also spent quality time with Rodrigo, Director of Basketball Operations of the Abejas de Leon club, and even had the opportunity to chat with former NBA player Horacio Llamas. The league has fewer teams this year, but the level of play is considerably higher than years past. Only the best talent will make it in this league. They know some of our former players did a good job for their clubs, and they told me that they would like to see more players from Tampa heading their way.”
For those who are interested in pursuing a career in professional basketball or building upon previous professional experience, the Tampa Bay Rebels developmental team, the Blue Sharks, will be holding a tryout from 11am-2pm on Saturday, December 3rd at The Clinic which is located at 9511 N Trask Street Unit B in Tampa. The tryout fee for each player is $200.