Wasatch Academy Basketball Team Goes to the Latin America NBA Academy in Mexico City
(September 30, 2018) — In late September, the Boys' Varsity Basketball Team had the opportunity to go to the Latin America NBA Academy located at the CNAR compound in Mexico City. The facility is run by CONADE, the Mexican National Sports Federation. This all-inclusive compound has everything any Olympic athlete would need in any sport from archery to wrestling, cycling to taekwondo. Athletes live, eat, train, and go to school within this compound. The Wasatch Academy team was able to stay in the dorms and train along with other elite athletes during the three-day event.
On the first day, Wasatch Academy opened with a friendly game against the Stallions, a local Mexico City club team that included national team players from Mexico. The Tigers jumped on the Stallions early, opening with a 29-8 lead, and extended that lead to thirty points through the second half, but with 10 minutes left in the game, the Stallions made a run while the Wasatch Academy team began to feel the effects of playing at one of the highest elevation courts in the world (7,382 ft). The Stallions got within 12 points before the Tigers extended the lead for a 76-51 win.
The second day, the team faced a stacked NBA Academy team, made up of top prospects from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Africa, and South America. This too was supposed to be a friendly match but ended up as a family rivalry game due to the long friendship and common connection to Brigham Young University Hawaii that Wasatch Academy Head Basketball Coach David Evans and the NBA Academy Director Walter Roese shared. The game was a back and forth with Wasatch Academy leading at halftime 38-32. Wasatch extended the lead to 15 in the second half before Roese rallied his NBA troops with a technical foul, countered by the first technical foul Coach Evans has ever received as a coach. This, and perhaps the altitude, resulted in both teams tied at the end of regulation. Wasatch ultimately found their second wind and beat a very good NBA team 79-77.
On day three, the trip ended with the team visiting the Teotihuacan pyramids, wrapping up the trip with hints of the potential the Wasatch Academy Tigers have for the 2018-19 season.