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GAITAN EARNS FULL SCHOLARSHIP TO ENDERUN, CALVO TO WALK ON

Two FD Friar Basketball Players announced their commitments to play college basketball Wednesday morning at the FD Phoenix Center. Nathaniel Kyle Gaitan and Tomas Calvo joined their family members and coaches at a ceremony at FD to announce their next chapter in scholastics and the sport of basketball.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Two FD Friar Basketball Players announced their commitments to play college basketball Wednesday morning at the FD Phoenix Center. Wendy’s All stars players Nathaniel Kyle Gaitan and Tomas Calvo joined their family members and coaches at a ceremony at FD to announce their next chapter in scholastics and the sport of basketball.

Gaitan earns full scholarship to Enderun

Gaitan signed his letter of intent to Enderun College in the Philippines. According to coach EJ Calvo, the preseason FD Basketball Tournament trips to the Philippines caught the eye of the Enderun coaches which opened the door to the scholarship.

“We are happy to announce that Kyle was offered a 100 percent athletic scholarship to play for the (Enderun) Titans,” said EJ Calvo who is also Tomas Calvo’s father.

Gaitan said he will leave later this month to attend Enderun and meet his new team. Coaches Jimmy Yi, EJ Calvo and Eddie Pelkey were present at the ceremony held at midcourt in the Phoenix Center.

“I look forward to playing basketball for the Titans and I’m also going to be majoring in International Tourism and Hospitality Management,” said Gaitan. Attending the ceremony with Gaitan was his mother, Aurora Gaitan, and brother, Michael Gaitan. “Our whole family is very excited for him and our Aunt has personally requested to take him to the campus in the Philippines,” said Michael Gaitan.

Michael Gaitan said that his family is also pleased with the location of his college because it’s closer to home.

Nathaniel Kyle Gaitan shares a photo with mother Aurora and brother Michael. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

“I went through the same process (at GW) when I got a scholarship to Iowa for Track. But with Kyle signing to a college in the Philippines, he’s closer to us so he can be with us during holidays and the summer,” said Michael Gaitan.

“There’s a lot of people I have to thank who got me here. Of course my coaches, my family and Mr. Tony Thompson for guiding me,” said Kyle Gaitan.

Gaitan was a transfer student from GW and entered FD in his junior year which was a move he did not regret despite leaving his friends and teachers.

“I really felt it was a good move because I really wanted to play college basketball and FD helped open those to doors to help me get there,” said Kyle Gaitan. Gaitan stuffed the stat sheet in his senior year averaging 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals per game.

“There’s alot of adjustments he’s going to have to make because he will be moving positions from power forward to shooting guard,” said coach EJ Calvo. “I think he will do well making the change in position and, hopefully, he will come back and play for our men’s national team in the future.”

“Our basketball program is not all about building basketball players it’s about building young men,” said FD head coach Eddie Pelkey. “These commitments are steps into the right direction.”

Calvo to attend California Lutheran University

Friar point guard Tomas Calvo is looking to earn his roster position as a walk-on for the California Lutheran University Kingsmen, a Division III school in the Southern California Intercollegiate Conference.

“This school doesn’t give scholarships until you make the team. So I’m working on getting stronger to try to beat out players that have been there for two or three years already,” said Tomas Calvo.

“Congratulations to these two players; continue to work you butt off and thank you for all you have done for us,” said coach Jimmy Yi. Calvo said he also intends to study International Tourism and Hospitality Management in California Lutheran.

According to EJ Calvo, Guam National Team point guard Kyle Husslein competes in the same conference (Southern California Intercollegiate Conference) as the Kingsmen and plays for the Redland Bulldogs. Tomas Calvo said he will work hard to follow Husslein’s footsteps and hopefully return to play for the National Team as a point guard as well.

Pelkey stated that their relationship does not end after graduation. “We use the sport of basketball to teach life lessons for our kids; it doesn’t end in high school for us,” said Pelkey. “We prepare our kids for real life after graduation; we still care for them. We provide support and structure for them long after their days at Duenas,” added Pelkey.

“For these two students, it’s just the beginning for them and congratulations on getting this far. Now, in the words of our dear friend: ‘let’s get to work’,” said Pelkey.

FD Friars Tomas Calvo and Nathaniel Kyle Gaitan

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