Salinas, CA, October 27, 2020 — Interviewing two athletes from Stanford University who embrace issues of racial and social justice, along with a frontline coach and educator in Salinas, Gil Basketball Academy offers three new “Ganas — Leading from the Heart” podcasts for November.
Designed to inspire today’s youth through unique views and perspectives on life, “Ganas” (which translates to “desire”) is recorded live from the family garage of Jose Gil and Eva Silva, co-founders of the academy that promotes the sport of basketball in East Salinas through camps, clinics, individual sessions and elite travel teams. But more than that, GBA builds confidence and character in a membership that exceeds 450 local kids ages 4 to 17.
The “Ganas” podcast officially launched on Sept. 14, with past episodes available on Apple, or through the GBA website at www.gilbasketballacademy.com.
On Nov. 2, Episode 6 features top national basketball recruit Isael “Isa” Silva, a dynamic point guard from Jesuit High School in Carmichael who committed to play at Stanford. Embracing his Latino heritage on and off the court, Silva is proud of his Latino heritage. The grandson of a bracero immigrant, he embraces the social media hashtag #wolfway, a nod to how wolves can positively impact the ecosystem around them.
On Nov. 16, the “Ganas” team will interview track and field sensation Marcus Floyd, a sophomore at Stanford. Born and raised in Middleburg, Fla., Floyd was exposed to systemic racism at an early age. At Stanford he has participated in a number of causes to expose hatred and bigotry while enlightening people about the stark reality of being black in America. Floyd finished his first season as the No. 5 ranked freshman in Stanford history, while pursuing a degree in architectural engineering.
On Nov. 30, the podcast crew welcomes local educator, coach and super volunteer Amparo Saldana. As a first generation immigrant born in Mexico to a family of 13, Saldana grew up learning daily about struggle and sacrifice. Arriving in the United States at age 8 with the goal of attending college, Amparo graduated from California State University-Fresno in 1999, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She has been an elementary school teacher, school trustee and a longtime coach and board member for Gil Basketball Academy in Salinas.
The idea for a podcast grew from Gil’s growing frustration in not being able to completely connect with and inspire his GBA kids during the pandemic.
“You have to think outside the box,” said the longtime coach and athletic director at Alisal High School. “I was used to having hundreds of kids together at one time, and now I have to figure out new ways to have an impact.”
While the couple have little experience in media (and none in podcasting), they invested in the technology needed to turn the family garage into a functioning studio.
“Ganas” podcasts (including video with guests appearing via Zoom) span 30 to 45 minutes, and include topics such as sports, health, fitness, leadership, community and more.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901