While being able to travel abroad to get paid to play basketball seems like a good setup, there are other factors to playing professionally that go commonly unnoticed. As the only two Americans on the team (Nueceros de Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico) Dwight Gentry, guard, Terrell, TX, and Shane Heyward, forward, Charleston, SC, work well together through a mutual understanding of the pressures of being a “foreign feature”.
Gaining a spot on any basketball team is extremely competitive as rosters are limited. Increased quotas are mandated to foreign players in most leagues to hold preference and employment of citizens. Thus, players like Gentry and Heyward have a constant battle to earn and keep their roles on teams. To the coaching staff, team owners and locals, they are the crème of the crop and must perform well enough to take the team to new heights. Because of high expectations, it is not uncommon to see Gentry and Heyward at the top of the leader boards for their team.
Leading in performance comes with additional demands for the two in Mexico. Heyward, compares his experience with Argentina shares, “Playing over here in Mexico, is a little bit more of a work load because we are playing 40 plus minutes a night and playing back to back games, but in Argentina it was not that much pressure to have 40 every night.”
Gentry says, “Being the only two Americans, word gets out around the league, make sure to stop us for a better chance of winning.”
Even with extra attention the duo racks impressive numbers. In their recent match up against Juarez Indios, Gentry led team scoring with 28 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds. Heyward scored 21 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks. German Madueno added an additional 19 points. Although the team was unable to defeat Indios, there are plenty more games to exceed expectations and “work like a walk-on”.