“It’s important to follow our dreams. These players are an inspiration. They’re ambassadors for our island and are a testament of the talent that can be found on Guam.”
– Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
Guam basketball players to play in New Zealand league
Team Guam players Joe Blas and Willie Stinnett signed contracts to play in the New Zealand National Basketball League.
Both Blas and Stinnett will play for the IMS Payroll Hawks. They will be moving to Napier, New Zealand early next year to prepare for the three-month season that’ll run from March to June 2016. Currently, Blas and Stinnett are guards on the Guam men’s national basketball team.
“I’ve been coaching these two guys for a while now, and have seen them get better each year,” Team Guam Head Coach EJ Calvo said. “They are two of the hardest working players on the island, and this is a great opportunity for them to improve on and off the court.”
Coach EJ Calvo made the announcement an Imagine Guam Policy Team meeting today at Adelup. Calvo is a member of the initiative’s policy team. He said the athletes’ move underscores one of the main tenets of the program, which is a belief that our people can compete against the best in the world. In fact, one of the 17 Imagination Teams is called Athletic Global Competitiveness.
Since graduating from George Washington High School in 2006, Blas has been one of Guam’s most prolific scoring guards in recent history, consistently leading Team Guam in scoring. Most recently, Blas led all scorers in the recent Pacific Games gold medal game against Team Fiji with 25 clutch points.
Stinnett is Team Guam’s captain and made an immediate impact on the team since graduating from Father Duenas Memorial School in 2004. At 6 foot and 2 inches, Stinnett has established himself as an excellent defender and rebounder. He ran the offense as the starting point guard for this summer’s gold medal national team.