June 9, 2016
Seven veterans returning to Slam for 2016 season
The roster for the Bellingham Slam will be filled with familiar faces as the team returns to the court at the 2016 Seattle Pro-Am league this summer. The team’s first seven roster spots have been filled by veteran players with significant experience for the Slam during its tenure in the International Basketball League.
The group is headlined by player/coach Tyler Amaya and also includes guards Morris Anderson, Paul Hafford, Drew Ready and Jacob Stevenson. Center Austin Bragg and forward Nick Moore round out the set as frontcourt additions.
Amaya brings a wealth of experience to the Slam in his dual role of player/coach, having competed in the Seattle Pro-Am league and its predecessor, the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am, for a number of years. In addition, he played five seasons with the Slam starting in 2008 and enjoyed numerous stops around the globe during an extensive overseas career.
Anderson is another standout with significant pro-am experience in addition to five seasons with the Bellingham Slam, earning IBL All-Star selections each year. His best season was perhaps his last, when he averaged 61 percent shooting from the floor and 49 percent from three-point range in 2014.
Ready is back in a Slam uniform after spending three seasons with the Slam from 2011 to 2013. He was consistently one of the team’s top defenders but also extremely capable offensively, leading the Slam in field goal shooting in 2012 at 55 percent.
Hafford, a former star at Lynden Christian, returns after playing five seasons with the Slam and winning two IBL Championships in 2008 and 2012. His overseas playing career included stops in Romania, Norway, China and Australia, and he also spent one season playing for the Slam’s IBL rival, the Vancouver Volcanoes.
Stevenson, the elder statesman of the Slam, has suited up for Bellingham in nearly every game dating back to 2005 during the team’s nine year run in the IBL and, before that, the American Basketball Association. He finished his career in the now-defunct IBL as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 2,934 points.
Bragg, the youngest of the first seven roster additions, played an instrumental role during the Slam’s 2014 IBL Championship season, earning MVP honors thanks to a double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds in a title game win over Vancouver. He has spent the past two seasons playing overseas in Slovenia and Germany.
Completing the group is Moore, an Evergreen State graduate who also boasts significant experience in previous pro-ams and played five seasons in the IBL split between Bellingham and the Olympia Reign.
The team still has three to four available roster spots which will be filled in the next two weeks with newcomers by general manager Kip Leonetti.
The Slam tips off the 2016 season at the Seattle Pro-Am on July 2 at Seattle Pacific University’s Royal Brougham Pavilion. A full schedule my be viewed here.