Rollers are still rollin’

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THE NMI Rollers Basketball Association was founded in the late 1990’s by Joe Diaz. His objective was to mentor youths who have the potential to grow and succeed in life through the love of sports. 

“We started with the name Garapan Rollers in 1999,” Diaz said, adding that it was his cousin, Martin Teregeyo, who encouraged Diaz to start a basketball club.

The Rollers gather for a group photo after winning the Tinian San Jose Youth Basketball Tournament. 

The Garapan Rollers played volleyball, softball, and basketball. Diaz, who was passionate about basketball, eventually decided to focus on the sport.

“I found that I enjoyed coaching kids play basketball so I kept it that way,” he said.



The Rollers take a photo with one of their major sponsors, Joe Ayuyu Sr., owner of McDonald’s Saipan and Guam.

 The Rollers participate in a community beach cleanup. Contributed photos.

Diaz’s objective was to give the youth an opportunity to grow in terms of lifestyle. “Back in the day, the youths were exposed to the streets and bad choices. I wanted to help them change their perspective, not only to become a basketball player, but also to learn discipline outside of the court.”

The Garapan Rollers later changed their name to Rollers Basketball Club, which is now known as the NMI Rollers Basketball Association.

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