NMI Rollers Basketball Association’s girls 17-and-under team is currently in Guam advancing their knowledge of the sport by attending the basketball camp of B.League player Morgan Aiken.
A total of nine players are training at the Ballers Gymnasium in Harmon and they are Kaia Travilla, Kyna Delos Reyes, Lency Sagarino, Tasilyn Ramon, Andera Ramos, Kaeli Pathil, Yasmeen Younis, Kathlyn Chavez, and Mia Abuan.
The 17U team is coached by Marlene Lumabi, while the head of the Rollers delegation is Rollers founder and head coach Joe Diaz.
“We brought down nine girls to Guam. We started our training today with Morgan Aiken. The girls were divided into two groups and went for an hour and 30 minutes. This will be for three days, which are Aug. 17, 18, and 19,” said Lumabi, who is also a member of the CNMI National Women’s Basketball Team.
Not content with just pacing on the sidelines, Lumabi eventually joined the basketball camp with her players to learn more about the sport from the Yamaguchi Patriots guard.
“I also jumped in during the training sessions to learn the drills which I decided to bring back home. I love how he focused on the fundamentals. The first day of training was awesome!” she said.
Diaz said aside from the opportunity to gain basketball knowledge from Guam’s first professional basketball player in the Japan league, he also brought Lumabi along in the Guam camp to network with NMI Rollers Basketball Association’s longtime partners and supporters.
“For me, it was hard when I first went to Guam in 2006. I had to call up the mayor’s office in Guam to find out where to go and the first basketball club that helped us was the Barrigada Crusaders Basketball Club. We were still known as Garapan Rollers Basketball Club back then and now we have a new name, which is the NMI Rollers Basketball Association,” he said.
Born in Hawaii, the 5’8” Aiken attended Saint Paul Christian School in Guam before playing NCAA college basketball for Eastern University in 2013.
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).