3 Point Guards. 3 Continents. 1 Dream.
The 2015/16 International Elite Academy roster has Point Guards from all over the world. Guilherme (Brazil), Joseph (England) and Mike (USA) have very different experiences in the world of basketball, but they all share the same dream: To play college basketball in the USA.
Atlanta native Mike Hall has been at the academy for 2 years and has seen his game go to the next level, "I used to just play around with my friends and never thought basketball would take me anywhere, then I tried out for the Elite Academy and not only have the coaches changed my game but they have changed my life" says Hall.
"In 2 years Mike has gone from a streetball player with a bad attitude, to a potential college basketball player and role model in his community" says Coach Oxley.
Coach Barnes joined the International Elite Academy to make an impact on local players like Mike who had no guidance or opportunities; "Mike definitely isn't a saint and he will probably make more mistakes, but we have given him every opportunity to change his life, the ball is now in his court"
Guilherme Zainum De Lucca Castro hails from Sao Paulo in Brazil and came to the International Elite Academy to follow his dream of playing in the USA.
"At only 5"10 it is fair to say the odds are stacked against the young brazilian becoming a college point guard" says Coach Oxley,
"But standing 5"9 I have been in the same position and we have provided everything I would of wanted at his age to be successful".
Gui has improved every aspect of his game and now he has to prove to the college coaches he is worth taking a chance on;
"The academy coaches have shown me that without hard work, you have nothing, I came to improve as a basketball player, but I will take these lessons with me for the rest of my life"
Joseph Walsh-Norman traveled across the atlantic to follow his dream of playing college basketball and impressed the coaches from the start, "Joe came to the International Elite Academy with a passion and determination that is very rare to find, every time he stepped on the court he forced us to respect him as an athlete" says Coach Barnes.
Coach Oxley mirrored the sentiment towards Joseph, "We designed this program for players like us, some people won't understand what that means, but Joe is one of us. We treat our players like men and Joe will be a successful man at whatever he puts his mind to"
Joe believes the academy has taught him more than just how to shoot a basketball; "Everyday at the academy tests your character, you have to be consistent everyday, no matter what is going on all that matters is what you do today".
These 3 point guards have made a huge impact on the International Elite Academy and no matter what the future holds they have grown together;
"We battle everyday to make each other better and when we leave that is what I will miss the most" says Mike.