By Chaunteal Webb-Candler /Photo Credit: Chanté Stephens & Julie Bretz
Professional basketball organization, The San Diego Guardians hosted its first combine on Saturday (August 29), since joining The Basketball League (TBL) in mid-July. The organization was founded in 2016 by Philadelphia, PA native Kenneth Bishop, Jr. and played 3 seasons in another league before making the conscious business, power move leap. “The advancement of our players has always been priority,” states Founder, Kenneth Bishop. “We also have an obligation to our community to provide professional basketball, as well as role models. With those core values in mind, and an opportunity we could not refuse, we decided to move on.”
The Guardians’ combine was held at Play by Play Production in San Marcos. Keeping the ongoing health pandemic in mind, the organization had protocols in place that included temperature checks, mask mandates and sanitation stations. TBL Commissioner Carlnel Wiley traveled from Las Vegas to welcome the team and speak to the prospective players about what it means to be an athlete within TBL, professionalism and community, while giving his thoughts on The Guardians. “Very proud to have San Diego be a part of our ever growing League. They have a great look, are well organized and are definitely going to be a great fit for our TBL model,” Wiley commented.
Parisi Speed School San Diego was on site to assist with warm-ups and also conducted the special testing to determine the athletes’ measurements. Maria Everett of Herbalife spoke to the importance of diet and sports nutrition. After, the prospective Guardians completed intense 3 on 3 drills, before competing in a 5 on 5 scrimmage. Guardians’ Coaching staff led by Head Coach Brandon Cheeks, were on every angle of the court watching for who they would vouch for to continue onto training camp in January 2021. Management that included Bishop, Chaunteal Webb-Candler (Co-Team Market Owner and Director of Community Engagement) and General Manager, Jeff Harper-Harris, a San Diego basketball legend in his own right, who has a dual-title serving also as VP of Basketball Operations, looked on.
Thanks to a partnership with Cloudcast, The Guardians’ Lounge, an interactive Zoom through the team’s Facebook live, launched as a podcast at the combine; completing audio for 3 episodes that will debut later this month.
Within 24 hours of the combine’s conclusion, four athletes received emails congratulating them on advancing to training camp. Davion Cole-Johnson of Indianapolis, IN, Sam Gabbard of UC Santa Cruz and 2019-2020 Guardians Aaron Tinsley of San Diego and Roshun Wynne, Jr. of Oakland. Tinsley, who was a Co-MVP for the season cut short days before the commencing of playoffs stated, “Loyalty is the backbone of a hustler, that is why I am back for more with The San Diego Guardians!”
Las Vegas, NV is the next stop for The San Diego Guardians. They will host a combine on October 10, 2020 at the Las Vegas Basketball Center. There will also be another San Diego combine in November and Los Angeles in December; while the finale of preseason recruiting ends at the home of TBL, Indianapolis, IN in January at their league wide draft.
For more information on The San Diego Guardians or to register for any of the upcoming combines, visit www.TheSDGuardians.com.