When the San Antonio Spurs squared off against the Portland Trailblazers, they had no idea a Laredoan would be a part of the mix. Twenty-nine year old Kaleb Canales has led teams to success on every level, and now he's making his mark in the National Basketball Association. Flip Romero witnessed his coaching skills first hand and shares his story. “One of my professors said one time in school that if you love what you do you never have to work a day in your life, and I think that just lit a light bulb in my head that I wanted to coach basketball, help kids, help people and the fact that I love basketball that pretty much did it for me,” Asst. Coach Kaleb Canales says. Kaleb Canales took his love for the sport to new heights by becoming one of the leading assistant coaches in the NBA; his quest for greatness began in his hometown of Laredo. “Coach Bobby Cruz which is the Athletic Director for UISD was the head coach for Martin, gave me a great opportunity to be with him at Martin High to learn, it was a great learning experience for me and I really enjoyed it,” Kaleb says. Canales now rubs elbows with NBA superstars like Tony Parker and Timmy d, helping to guide his team, the rip city trailblazers, in one of the most critical games of the year against the San Antonio Spurs. Canales says, “From coaching high school, to coaching college, to coaching in the NBA, everywhere you go there are different challenges.” Kaleb has faced those challenges head on, providing his players the skills they need to get the edge over the competition, like incoming rookie Jerryd Bayless. “If it wasn't for him a lot of the guys wouldn't be in the same position,” Bayless says. Coach Nate McMillin says, “he's been a joy to work with and I told him, if I ever go anywhere else he's welcome to join me.” “The respect factor is there, obviously there the player, I’m the coach, they’re so coachable and they are great young kids. They want to learn and they want to get better,” Canales says. The assistant coach, who started as an intern four years ago, remains humble even after achieving his ultimate dream. “That’s always been my dream, that's what I believed in that's what I prayed about and it's a privilege and an honor to do it. Portland is advancing into the playoffs making their push for the NBA title. It has been a long season so far and Kaleb still never forgets his Laredo pride and the friends and family he left behind. “To this day it not easy I miss my family I miss my friends I miss my time back at home but its just adversity you know, continue to have a positive attitude.” Now Kaleb Canales gives a message to Laredo youth, even though it sounds cliché, never stop following your dreams. Kaleb will be coming back to Laredo this summer after the playoffs to bring his trail blazers basketball camp to the gateway city.