Aiken: Rollers a talented group

Posted on Aug 26 2022

Yamaguchi Patriots’ Morgan Aiken has played for five teams in Japan’s B.League since making his debut in 2015. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Japanese-American pro hooper Morgan Aiken came out impressed with the NMI Rollers girls 17-and-under team after hosting them in his basketball camp held at the Ballers Gymnasium in Harmon, Guam.

“Led by their coach Marlene Lumabi, they are a talented group of basketball players. Although the training camp was only three days, they competed everyday with so much drive and worked hard throughout the whole session,” said the  Yamaguchi Patriots of the B.League’s point guard.

Aiken said in all a total of 10 players—Lumabi and nine NMI Rollers girls 17-and-under players—attended the three-day basketball clinic.

“The plan was to train a larger group, but due to unexpected circumstances, only 10 were able to fly out and participate this time around. It was still as effective as the initial plan and I hope that the group was able to benefit from the camp.”

Aiken, who attended Saint Paul Christian School in Guam before playing NCAA college basketball for Eastern University in 2013, said players from the islands have so much talent and potential.

“But alongside talent, discipline and consistency will help get them to the next level. From getting up to train when you’re tired or unmotivated, to blocking out the outside noise so you can focus on yourself. Then keep that up throughout  months and years. Get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and ask questions,” he said.

Aiken’s training camps are designed as 1 1/2-hour long sessions and focus on all aspects of the game of basketball, from footwork, cardio, layups, shooting, defense, to core training.

“We help develop and improve their full game. With all the different training camps I have had the opportunity to learn from in my professional career, I have come to find that the minor details and skills are the most  important to know. That is what I try to focus on through all the drills and workouts that I put them through,” he said.

Aiken said he’s been hosting basketball camps to give back to the community and give island players the opportunity to learn from a professional basketball player.

“My main objective with training and hosting these types of camps is to give athletes who are passionate about basketball something I didn’t have when I was growing up. I’ve been so blessed with the opportunities I have worked for and I wanted to be someone to guide them and show them what it takes to get to the next level. Ultimately, I wanted to provide guidance, support and insight to the  truth of what it takes to grow in something you put your heart into,” he said.

Born in Hawaii, the 5’8” Aiken was the only sophomore in 2010 to make the All-Island team (second team) in the Guam IIAAG High School League. In 2011 as a junior, Aiken won the state championship, was honored First Team All-Island, and also came in second in the Slam Dunk Contest held at the Far East Tournament in Japan.

Aiken is also part of the Guam national basketball team that bagged the gold medal at the 2014 Micronesian Games.

Before signing with the Yamaguchi Patriots, Aiken also suited up for the Akita Northern Happinets (2015–2016), Tokyo Cinq Rêves (2016), Five Arrows (2017), and the Saitama Broncos (2019–2021).

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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