T-Bird Basketball Inks Four for 2018-2019 Season

T-Bird Basketball Inks Four for 2018-2019 Season

Mesa Thunderbirds Head Men's Basketball Coach Sam Ballard has announced the first of four signees to his 2018-2019 class.  Three of the four newcomers hail from the Valley of the Sun while the fourth hails originally from Venezuela. 

The 2018-19 Men's Basketball program will have a different look to it with only a few players returning.  With that, opportunity for incoming recruits is abundant and the coaching staff is setting the tone with some impact additions. 

The first four signings of the 2018 recruiting class will become very familiar names among T-Bird fans: Rajhan Billingsley, Ryan Pate, Isaias Pineda and Kyle Fischer all come to Mesa looking to carry-on the tradition of success.

Rajhan Billingsley - a 6'5 Wing who stared at Perry HS - transfers in after a redshirt year at neighboring Ben U Mesa. At Perry, "Ray" led the Pumas in scoring and rebounding his Senior year along the way to competing in the post-season. Maximizing his redshirt year - he joins the T-Birds bigger, stronger and more effective as a player.
From the Coaching Staff: "Rajhan has a chance to contribute right away with the growth he's made in his game. We're excited about adding a young man of his character and skill-set to our basketball family. He's an intense competitor who wants to be coached and wants to lead - those guys usually do very well here at Mesa."
Ryan Pate - another 6'5 Wing - helped led Mountain Pointe to the 6A title game at Wells Fargo Arena last season. Highly regarded as one of the state's most prolific 3-point shooters - Ryan's focused on increasing his skill-set in order to assist his new team in multiple ways.
From the Coaching Staff: "Ryan's desire to be a great all-around player is impressive. Everyone knows he can shoot the lights out but what they don't see is the work that goes into that and how much he's currently working on diversifying his skill-set. We're excited for his future here at Mesa."
Isaias Pineda - a strong 6'6 forward - graduated locally from the Faith Christian School although he originally hails from Venezuela. A product of the Powerhouse Hoops AAU program - Isaias (pronounced: E-sa-is) is already familiar with playing basketball at a high level which will undoubtedly transfer over well at Mesa.
From the Coaching Staff: "Isaias is already making a great impression. He's been the first guy in the gym and works really hard at getting better each day on the things we emphasize. He has great hands & feet, runs well and is also very smart. His agility and strength have also stood out thus far. He's a great fit for us here at Mesa."
Kyle Fischer - a versatile Wing player standing at 6'4 - hails from Sunnyslope HS where he helped the Vikings win to back-to-back 5A State Championships. Kyle's multifaceted game makes him a perfect fit for the T-Birds' program. Highly regarded as AZ's best unsigned Senior - he's found a home at Mesa where he's focused on continuing his winning ways.
From the Coaching Staff: "Kyle's a winner - flat out! He knows the sacrifice, dedication and hard work it takes to win consistently at a high level. The fact that he's also a leader who displays a high basketball IQ and motor will make him a fan favorite here as well as among 4-year coaches. He's the kind of young man we want representing Mesa."

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