Monday, November 7, 2016
Uno En Uno With: Isaiah Walley Stack
Isaiah Walley-Stack has long been infatuated with the NBA game. Since the time he was nine, he recalls watching Ray Allen drain deep, heavily contested three-pointers in routine fashion.
The souped-up tempo and increased physicality of the NBA game also had resonance with Walley-Stack. A dual threat combination guard who averaged 15 PPG for the Kalamunda Suns in his homeland of Australia, Walley-Stack grew up playing rugged games of streetball.
Playing for the Suns gave him a better understanding of the Xs and Os, the team concept, and made a defender out of him. The Suns, a prestigious Australian program, has churned out the likes of Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills and most recently, prized Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons.
Simmons actually plied his trade at Montverde Academy in Central Florida, a program rich with perennial mystique.
Now, 45 minutes down the road from there in Orlando, Walley-Stack finds himself operating offense at The Conrad Academy.
Sold on the amplified competition of Florida's burgeoning prep scene while simultaneously learning the niceties of the American game, Walley-Stack has assimilated to the new style. Playing on a team laced with shooters, he is cognizant that the onus to get everyone involved falls on him. This season, with a callow program comprised primarily of fresh faces, Walley-Stack hopes to leave The Conrad Academy with the same goal as most his teammates/peers: A free education, entailed in a full basketball scholarship.
A high-academic kid with lofty aspirations to register a 3.8 this semester (eclipsing the 3.5 he owned at a previous school)
Walley Stack On Aspirations
"I hope to improve my all around game. I hope to leave here with a tremendously more diversified package and a skill set that would enable me to play 3-4 positions. Of course, Australian basketball and American basketball are vastly different. The only guy in recent memory to make it out of Australia in the NBA is Patty Mills and we could all only aspire to do what he's done or anything remotely close to it."
Walley On Choosing Conrad
What had the most appealed to me was all the one-on-work and the attention to rich little details. I feel these were a necessity in me improving my game and becoming more heady on the court. I also knew I wanted to be a guard who could change the game from both sides of the floor and also impact the game without always having the ball in my hands. With the system Conrad has and the way in which everything we do--whether it's speed and agility or drill work--is focused on details, it ultimately proved to be the right fit. Right now, the focus is on starting the season off with a string of victories and keeping focused on a day-to-day basis.
Also, the fact that we coaches like Shaun Wiseman, who has won championships in North Carolina and Orlando helped sell me. Meeting Brad Traina, who is basically a professional still and trains at the level of professionals today, really helped sell me on spending a year or two here. I looked into Coach Traina's career overseas and UCF, where he's one of the program's best all time shooters. I realized I was in a good learning environment basketball wise.
On The Team's Style Of Play
Under coach Ryan Rodriguez, we employ a very fast paced system. There is constant emphasis on motion cuts, spacing, and getting our shooters open. We have a lot of guys who are the under the radar guys and are definitely trying to get noticed and earn scholarships. And while that is completely fine and great, our communication and our work as a team far exceeds that. Everyone has really bought in and wants to play for each other at all times.