This will be the first time a 12U team from the USA competes in this prestigious tournament. We are trying our best to make this trip happen, but would be needing extra support, financially. The total cost for this trip is about $15,000 and we are currently short of $3,000.
We would like to tell you a little bit about the coach, as well as the boys who are trying to make this happen.
Mike Franciscus, the coach, has been training some of these kids since they were eight years old. He grew up playing travel basketball himself, and always wished he had the opportunity to play abroad at a younger age. Coach Mike is one of the most dedicated and passionate coaches these kids have ever worked with. Coach Mike is selfless and always puts his players first. He's the kind of person that will walk that extra mile for his players without thinking twice.
Ellis is a true story of beating all odds and oppositions in life at age 12. He grew up in the inner city of Long Beach and raised by a single mother. He maintains straight A's while training as an outstanding athlete. At a very young age, he learns the value of honesty, hard work, and dedication. His teammates describe him as a leader who leads by example. You can always count on his positive attitude and encouragements to his fellow teammates.
Riley Hale is our star player, but also out most competitive player. Basketball has been Riley's passion since he was 5 years old, and he is now 11 years old. If you ever come to watch his game, you'll see it's hard to take his eyes away from his made skills on the court. These skills he has gained through years of dedication and hard work combined with solid work ethic. His coaches will tell you that he is the first one to show up and last one to leave. His friends would say he is a good and loyal friend.
Paul Campos Jr. is an 11-year-old 6th grader who has always excelled in his studies. From being part of the Gifted and Talented Education Program in elementary to being a straight A student in his middle school honors classes, Paul continues to succeed in his course of studies through his own self-discipline and motivation. His teachers will tell you he's always first to raise his hand, as well as a student that is a pleasure to have in class. Paul has been playing sports since the age of 3. His self-discipline and motivation carries over to anything he has a passion for. He has seven years of soccer under his belt, but basketball became his heart at the age of 4. He played both sports equally as well either as the go to goalie or earning the nickname "P3s" from his dad for knocking down 3's on the court. He continues to broaden his spectrum of sports by adding baseball this year. Paul loves the limelight of being on the court or field, but most of all, he loves the comradre of a team and the leadership of his coaches.
Ethan Lin is a 6th grader and the team's point / shooting guard. His nickname is E-Money, as given by his coach - former NBA player Juaqin Hawking - for his ball handling skills and ability to shoot 3's. Ethan was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lived in Hong Kong for 7 years before moving to Southern California. From the age of 3 to 9, Ethan played tennis and once he placed 3rd in the prestigious Little Mo U8 tournament. However, after several years of playing tennis, he fell in love with basketball at the age of 7 and never looked back. Ethan has been to several countries in Europe and would love to go back there again with his teammates to bring the FIBA championship trophy back to the U.S. for the first time.
Jake Gomez, the youngest of four siblings, is a young 6th grader with a passion for life, sports, and education. Jake has been following the footsteps of his older brother, Fernie Gomez, a junior playing Varsity at St. John Bosco's Basketball team. Jake has great ball handling skills and is a phenomenal three-point shooter. He can get to the rack and create his own shot when needed, and looks to pass before shooting. He is an unselfish student athlete, no doubt, on and off of the court. He prefers to play up a year or two to challenge himself, but recognizes that he needs to play with his age group to work and maintain a leadership role, where he has to be a decision maker and make players around him better. Jake takes pride in what ever he's a part of; he is an honor roll student and a multi-sport athlete. Jake is taking advantage of everything that comes his way. As a young student athlete, his future is a work in progress and he knows deep inside to enjoy being a kid first, as everything else will come naturally, with hard work, dedication, discipline, and respect.
Sterling Alexander Knighten is an 11-year-old, humble kid from Oceanside, CA. He was raised in a home-based childcare school environment that his mother owns and operates, which led him to develop earlier than most. Having older sisters, ages 21 and 27, Sterling would mimic them and try to get involved with whatever his sisters did. Shadowing his sisters, he picked up various skills in activities, such as, art, basketball, track, and anything competitive; he has always been a fast learner. Sterling always shows he is determined to beat all odds, where he has a goal and does whatever he can to achieve that goal. Before the age of 2, he taught himselve how to write his name, his city, and state. He would consistently watch basketball videos, and immediately apply those moves by practicing. This year has been the first year that Sterling has played competivite basketball, but is a true athlete with various medals for martial arts, as well as track in field, where his relay team set a record for speed in their class division. The potential for this kid is through the roof, and, not only that, he is extremely coachable, humble and upbeat. He's a passionate young kid with lots of drive and ambition.
Please help spread the word to help these kids fundraise enough money to pay for airfare, accommodations, and the tournament. With your support, we can help these boys achieve their goal of being the first team to bring home a FIBA championship to our community, California, and USA!!!!
Please feel free to check out the tournament.
- Cartier Barber
- Ketsia M.
- Ezra Goulding
- Brenda Hale
- Eric & Karina Hale
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