North Bay Basketball Academy expands the basketball community

Noah Tanaka

Basketball players who want to play on a travel team but struggle to find one are in luck. North Bay Basketball Academy (NBBA) is an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) organization that is based in San Rafael.  

NBBA is not only a travel team. They own a facility in San Rafael that includes a weight room, fitness machines and a half-court basketball court with an accessible shooting machine. Players can run through workouts with coaches or train on the court. Kyle Winters, the boys’ director at NBBA, is delighted with the program’s growth and its transformation into an elite and widespread program.

Located in San Rafael, the NBBA facility is where players and coaches both workout.

“For [us] as an organization we really want to build [the organization] and put NBBA not only on the map in the Bay Area, but on a national stage. We’ve been around now for almost 10 years and we are finally at the point where we feel like we’re becoming the top level program that we’ve worked so hard to be,” Winters said.

Zach Borello, the varsity girls’ basketball coach at Redwood and the girls’ director at NBBA, feels the program has expanded tremendously since he started working there.

“[When] I took over the girls teams, we [had] two to four teams and now we are at 14. This year, our teams are top level,” Borello said. 

This spring and summer NBBA rejoined the Under Armour (UA) Circuit after taking a break from it due to COVID. The circuit is a high-level competition where teams from all over the state compete in tournaments. 

“Players can see how their hard work has paid off… the UA Circuit teams are going to be a really good way for [players] to see that if you put in the effort, who knows what the results can be,” Winters said.

NBBA is especially popular among Redwood basketball players. Many basketball coaches from Redwood help coach for NBBA. North Bay Basketball Academy also assists Redwood in the offseason as all levels, freshmen through varsity, enter offseason tournaments through NBBA.

Huddling together, NBBA game plans during a timeout.

“In the fall [we are] putting together a Redwood girls’ team, but under the North Bay umbrella, and we are using NBBA as a resource to jump start us into the season that comes up quickly in November,” Borello said.

Sophomore Maya Saibel who is joining NBBA for her second year in a row enjoys playing for them and thinks it is a well-put-together program, especially for players at the high school level. Saibel loves the community NBBA has created while still allowing her to play in a competitive atmosphere. 

“NBBA is definitely a higher level of competitiveness than where I played before…We play in NCAA certified tournaments and our opponents are always good, high level teams,” Saibel said. “At the same time, the community is great. We are all close knit and good friends, which makes playing at practice and games really fun and more enjoyable.”

North Bay Basketball Academy is a great resource for players who need a local travel team to join. The community is great, and the competition levels and tournaments are top-tier. NBBA is an elite program that basketball players should consider joining.