Enjoy the latest podcast produced by the GBA family. We hope you come away inspired, entertained, enlightened and informed. Remember, it’s all in the ganas!
Episode 20 (May 31, 2021): Coaching Basketball at a High School Powerhouse
Guest: Gregg Downer, Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Penn.
Named “Best Basketball Coach in Pennsylvania” by USA Today, Gregg Downer has coached 70 players who went on to play at the college and professional levels, including NBA MVP Kobe Bryant (1996). Downer is an inductee in three sports hall of fames in Pennsylvania and is among the most successful youth coaches in the United States, running the Gregg Downer Basketball Academy in the off-season.
Episode 19 (May 17, 2021): Leading one of the largest school districts in Northern California
Guest: Dan Burns, superintendent, Salinas Union High School District.
Named superintendent of SUHSD in 2017, Dan Burns has led the district to several success stories, including offering free meals to all students regardless of their income levels, as well as having the largest graduating class in the history of the SUHSD, eclipsing the $45 million amount for scholarships and tuition assistance offered.
Episode 18 (May 03, 2021): A Successful Leader of Young Men
Guest: Bob Cantu, renowned college basketball coach.
Known as a top college recruiter and defensive specialist, Paso Robles native Bob Cantu spent 12 seasons at USC as an assistant coach, associate head coach and interim head coach. He recruited and/or coached 14 NBA players, including five who were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He was a part of five NCAA Tournament teams (including a berth in the Sweet 16 in 2007), the 2009 Pac-10 Tournament champions and a school record three consecutive 20-win squads from 2007-09. USC set a school record with 25 wins during the 2006-07 season.
Episode 17 (Apr. 19, 2021): Monterey County’s favorite son dedicated to public service
Guest: Jimmy Panetta, member of the United States House of Representatives for California’s 20th congressional district.
Before becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jimmy Panetta volunteered for active duty in 2007 and was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He worked with Special Forces units and was awarded the Bronze Star. Upon returning home to the Central Coast, he served as a board member of the Veterans Transition Center where he focused on ending veterans’ homelessness and improving resources for his fellow veterans and their families.
Episode 16 (Apr. 05, 2021): The Power of Positive Leadership in Sports
Guest: Jon Gordon, best-selling author, motivational speaker
A graduate of Cornell University who holds a Masters in teaching from Emory University, Jon Gordon is an American author and speaker on the topics of leadership, culture, sales and teamwork. Through his training/consulting company, Gordon’s principles have been widely used by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals and nonprofits.
Episode 15 (Mar. 08, 2021): Former all-America football player finds new glory helping homeless
Guest: Will Henry, Project RoomKey program manager, San Francisco
A wide receiver and track star at Arroyo Grande High School in the 1980s, Will Henry broke records for most receiving yards (1,136) and touchdowns (9) during the team’s 1987 state championship season. Named to the prestigious all-America team, Henry went on to play football and run track at Fresno State University. Working with the homeless for more than 15 years, Henry previously served as the director for Homeless Vets in Las Vegas. He is currently the program manager for Project RoomKey, providing hotel rooms for individuals and couples in San Francisco during the time of Sheltering in Place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Episode 14 (Feb. 22, 2021): Empowering the underrepresented
Guest: Alma Medina, providing free legal advice and representation to underserved communities
Over a 20-year-plus career as a pro-bono attorney, Alma Silva has worked with La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, served as an associate with the law firm Connerton, Ray, and Simon, and has served two terms as an alumni representative to Stanford’s El Centro Chicano Guiding Concilio.
Episode 13 (Feb. 08, 2021): From the Fields of Salinas to the Youngest Latino General Counsel
Guest: Francisco Silva, General Counsel, California Medical Association
The youngest of seven children, Francisco was born in Sonora, Mexico, with the family migrating to Salinas when he was 4 years old. Like his siblings, Francisco was expected to work in the agricultural fields alongside his parents, who taught their children the value of hard work and education. Francisco graduated from Santa Clara University and UCLA School of Law in the inaugural class of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. He has spent a distinguished career speaking up for the underserved.
Episode 12 (Jan. 25, 2021): Chronicling stories of local athletes for 40 years
Guest: John Devine, award-winning sportswriter and columnist for the Monterey Herald
A graduate of King City High School and Hartnell College in Salinas, John Devine has built a stellar career as a sports journalist in his own backyard. A local icon when it comes to sports information, with more than 12,000 followers on Twitter, Devine keeps generations of local sports fans informed on a daily basis.
Episode 11 (Jan. 11, 2021): Legendary Coach Changing Lives in the 93905
Guest: Jim Rear, Hall of Fame basketball coach
Named Coach of the Year nine times and Monterey County Coach of the Year six times, Jim Rear compiled a combined 394 wins at Alisal and Alvarez high schools. He was selected to the Gatorade Coaches Care National Honor Roll in 1995 and was inducted into both the Alisal High Hall of Fame and Salinas Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
Episode 10 (Dec. 28, 2020): Playing Basketball with Heart and Passion
Guest: Keenan Fitzmorris, basketball player, Stanford University
Called “a big-time shooter with length,” Stanford’s 7-foot center Keenan Fitzmorris sets big-time goals both on and off the court.
Episode 9 (Dec. 14, 2020): Entrepreneurship at its Best — a Product of 93905
Guest: Julio Gil, local business owner and native of East Salinas
A product of East Salinas, Julio Gil used his creative talents to build a thriving small business in his hometown. A model of entrepreneurship, Central Coast Sign and Design specializes in graphic design, logos, vehicle wraps and signs.
Episode 8 (Nov. 30, 2020): The Power of Public Service and Leading from the Heart
Guest: Amparo Saldana, Local Educator and Trustee
Dedicated to shaping today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders, Amparo Saldana emphasizes the importance of hard work and education. As a teacher, mentor, coach and board member for Gil Basketball Academy in Salinas, she is directly involved in bettering her community.
Episode 7 (Nov. 16, 2020): Balancing D-1 Athlete Responsibilities and Social Change
Guest: Marcus Floyd, sophomore track and field athlete, Stanford University
A top sprinter and triple jumper, Marcus Floyd finished the indoor track season as Stanford’s No. 5 freshman of all time. He plans to major in architectural engineering and pursue a career as an architect, while continuing as a force for social change while improving opportunities for people of color.
Episode 6 (Nov. 02, 2020): Wolf Way: Reaching High and Moving Forward
Guest: Isael “Isa” Silva, top national basketball recruit
Isa Silva became Stanford University’s top recruit this year as a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior point guard from Jesuit High School in Carmichael. Proud of his Latino heritage, the grandson of a bracero immigrant embraces the social media hashtag #wolfway, a nod to how wolves can positively impact the ecosystem around them.
Episode 5 (Oct. 19, 2020): Daughter of migrant worker bridging the cultural divide.
Guest: Dr. Gloria Sanchez, medical director Harbor-UCLA
Born the daughter of a Mexican migrant laborer, Dr. Gloria Sanchez became a physician with Harbor UCLA Medical Center. A member of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, Dr. Sanchez hopes to increase the number of Latino doctors in the U.S. while helping immigrants gain better access to healthcare.
Episode 4 (Oct. 05, 2020): From the fields of the Salinas Valley to the MLS.
Guest: David Estrada, professional soccer player.
Born in Michoacan, Mexico and raised in Salinas, Calif., David Estrada attended Alisal High School and became the school’s most prolific soccer player. Drafted in 2010 by the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, Estrada excelled both on the field and off, winning Humanitarian of the Year while playing with New Mexico United in 2019.
Episode 3 (Sept. 28, 2020): Resistance and faith: Leading in a time of turmoil.
Guest: Pastor Artis L. Smith, New Hope Baptist Church.
Dedicated to servanthood and discipleship, the Rev. Artis Smith joined New Hope Baptist Church in 1999 as Associate Minister, installed as pastor in 2005. During that time he has helped lead a regional effort toward social justice.
Episode 2 (Sept. 14, 2020): Giving today’s youth opportunities to thrive.
Guest: Jerome Williams, former NBA player.
Drafted in the first round of the NBA draft (1996) by the Detroit Pistons, Jerome Williams (nicknamed the Junkyard Dog) had a nine-year pro career. Today he gives back to at-risk youth through the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders, and as president of The Young3 tournaments.
Episode 1 (Sept. 14, 2020): ‘Completing the circle’ by empowering young people.
Guest: Eva Silva, college coordinator/Gil Basketball Academy co-founder.
Born in Mexico and raised in Salinas, Calif., by parents who were migrant workers, Eva Silva is an Alisal High graduate who earned a degree in education from Stanford University. Silva works as a college coordinator for migrant students at CSU-Monterey Bay, and is co-founder of Gil Basketball Academy.
11:30 AM: Coach Gregg Downer
(Kobe Bryant’s High School Basketball Coach)
12:30pm: Coach Henry Bibby
(Former NBA Player and Coach)
1:30pm: Coach Bob Cantu
(College Basketball Coach For USC And Other Schools)
Podcast New Studio Set Up
Get a behind the scenes look!