ALL GOLD FOR MEN'S BASKETBALL
Men’s basketball has been on the up-and-up after head coach EJ Calvo took over the program and the national team has their minds dead set on gold as they prepare to dominate the 2014 upcoming Micro Games in Pohnpei as they do every time out having not lost a gold medal in the sport.
For one player in particular this will be his 20th year with the national team having played Guam basketball for three different decades in the 90′s, 2000′s, and now in 2014 and he is no other than Sanchez Sharks basketball coach Jin Han.
Han stays in top shape year round so you couldn’t tell he’s been playing for so long by just looking at him. Han preparing to add his 6th basketball gold medal from the Micro Games having repeatedly won gold since his first year with the team in 1994.
“I love the competition, love my teammates, and I love the game. I just enjoy playing it and will continue to play it as long as I can or as long as God’s willing,” said Han on his 20 years on the team.
Han’s work ethic is second to none and the will to win and perform at his best makes him such a reliable player both offensively and defensively.
“The way I approach every game is the same way. I work hard and my teammates work hard to and we all have the same goal which is to go out and win a gold medal,” said Han.
One of the newer editions to the team is Kyle Husslein who grew up on Guam but left before his teen years. Husslein is a combo guard that gives Team Guam another athletic player and fits within the roles head coach Calvo has for the team.
Men’s National Team Roster
Willie Stinnette (Guard/Forward)
Joe Blas (Guard/Forward)
Jin Han (Guard/Forward)
Dominic Sablan (Guard)
Morgan Aiken (Guard)
James Stake (Guard)
Lance Osborn (Guard)
Kyle Husslein (Guard)
Mike Sakazaki (Forward/Center)
Seve Susuico (Forward/Center)
Pohnpei Full Circle
For coach Calvo and some players, like Seve Susuico, playing in Pohnpei has come full circle. Back in 2002, Calvo was a major component for Guam’s National team as a player with Seve Susuico just joining the team for the first time. One of their opponents in the 2002 Micro Games in Pohnpei is also on their team who played for Chuuk in star guard Willie Stinnett.
With the group now returning as Calvo the coach and Stinnett and Susuico vital to the teams success, grabbing gold is something this team knows how to do.
“We’re all trying to achieve that gold medal and Guam has never lost a game in the Micro Games in basketball. Before, I used to be that young guy so now I’m a veteran so that’s what’s different this time around,” said Susuico.
Susuico will be joined in the front court with Team Guam’s other big man Michael Sakazki who is coming off his freshman year with the Chaminade Silver Swords basketball team. Sakazki will be making his debut for team Guam and the team will still have the power house scoring ability of Joe Blas.
Calvo has made a lasting impression on the guys and the bonds he has made with the players has only helped them perform better. With everything clicking as far as chemistry and talent, the team is looking past “expecting” to win gold and is just going to go out and play their to their own expectations.
Story and Photo provided by: Robert Balajadia