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Saturday, 27 February 2021

Grace Baptist Academy basketball program brings international players to the Coast

Credit: WXXV
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Grace Baptist Academy basketball program brings international players to the Coast
Grace Baptist Academy basketball program brings international players to the Coast

Over the past six years, Grace Baptist Academy’s boys basketball program has become a hub on the Gulf Coast for international players to attend and excel on the court.

Over the past six years, grace- baptist academy's boys- basketball program has become a- - - - hub on the gulf coast for - international players to attend- and excel - on the court.

- this year's eagle squad is- comprised of seven- australians, a rwanadan, and a- canadian.

Despite their - different - nationalities and cultures, - these players have found- something - that bridges any differences- they may have: the game of- basketball.

- news 25's grace boyles sits dow- with some of the eagles to- discuss the program's success - and their transition- to america.

- - over at grace baptist academy,- head coach brad shauf is helpin- players from across the - globe make their dreams come- - - - true on the hardwood right here- in south mississippi.

- through its "timothy project," the small baptist - school in ocean springs has - developed a boarding- program for young basketball- players to come - to the united states and boost- their chances of earning a- college basketball scholarship.- g-b-a travels all across the- southeast region playing in - tournaments and taking on some- of the most competitive - teams in the south.

In december- the eagles even - went up against some coast- teams, defeating moss point 65 - 37- and stone high 59 - 36.

- brad shauf, grace baptist - academy head coach and athletic- director: "we want to be known as a stepping- stone to the college level.

It'- not anything personal with- any other schools.

We are - necessairly competing with the- same market.

We - don't get our kids from a bunch- of schools around here.

We're - providing a service.- - - - so what we want to be known as- kinda that team on the coast- that's different."

Although the eagles may be- relatively unknown on the - coast, their exciting style of- play-- featuring plenty of- effortless slam dunks-- have- made a splash on social media,- which helps catch the eyes of - college coaches.

Center - aidan gardiner from geraldton - australia has been here just- six months and has already- picked up an offer.

- aidan gardiner, center -- geraldton, australia: "i found it as a stepping stone to - college.

You know, i never--- back in australia i didn't have- college look as i did - now.

I got here.

I played-- i - think i only played two or thre- months of playing - basketball over here and i had- montevallo out of alabama, they- - - offered me."

For guard shai fassom, getting a chance to pla- abroad in high- school was an opportunity he- couldn't pass up.

- shai fassom, guard/forward -- perth, australia: "i just think a lot of kids in- australia see it as a dream to- go play overseas.

And i kinda - thought the first time- i'd get over here was college.- but once i got this offer i was- - - - just like, yeah.

I was so - happy."

Shauf says watching his players- dreams of playing - basketball at the next level is- the most rewarding part of his- job.- brad shauf, grace baptist - academy head coach and athletic- director: "first game of their college career, - seeing them play.

The most- rewarding for me, - that's what that is.

So our - mission, essentially is to do - that.

It is to provide a- service to them to reach the- next level.

And that's our- focus."

Shai fassom, guard/forward -- perth, australia: "i just want to go play- grace baptist is celebrating- senior night tomorrow as- they host pontchatrain

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