I wanna share my story of when I learned how to play basketball to show everybody how I love basketball and also how hard it is being a student athlete at the same time.
I learn how to play basketball by watching NBA and also my dad. He used to play professional basketball in the Philippines called PBA (Philippines Basketball Association) it is like NBA. He only played 8 season because of the injury and when he knew that he couldn’t play no more he wanted to become a basketball coach. One of the university offered him, the De La Salle University to be the coach of their school. Right now he still the coach of that school. When I was 6 years old, me and my mother always watches him almost every games. The arena was very loud, everybody would be standing, cheering, screaming. All the players were really tall and they’re really good at basketball. I thought being good at something is a gift like God gave that to you. Like basketball, if your parents is good at playing basketball they would expect you to be good as well. But when my dad started to bring me to their practices, I realized that they really put in the hard work and effort in practice to get better.
In the Philippines they love basketball out there because that’s the only sports that we can play. Yeah there is soccer, football, and every other sports but basketball is the most popular one. My dad is like a celebrity where I grew up, everybody knows him because he played in the PBA. My friends and I always play basketball every single day, we don’t care if it’s hot, cold, and raining, We play all day because we love it and everyone in my place play basketball so growing up out there all you see outside is basketball. I thought I’m going to be good as my dad because he is my dad. Everyone in my place expects me and my 2 brothers will be as good as my dad. When I was in elementary school, I played basketball since 4th grade to 6th grade. But we don’t practice, training, and all of that stuff. I made the team because they said I was good but I don’t really know a lot about basketball that time.
When I was like 11 years old, my dad started a basketball camp for the kids the same as my age. Kids from all different cities came to the camp to learn basketball. Me and my friends were there because they were close to my dad too. We learned basic stuff like fundamentals, all we do is dribble, chest pass, bounce pass,and shooting. My dad and the other coaches told us that we should not forget about fundamentals because you don’t need that extra stuff to play basketball. As long as you know that it means you can play basketball. They also teaches us about the rules and violations. I know some of the rules that time but I didn’t know that it’s a lot that it’s not allowed in basketball. I thought I was good because I am ahead of everybody but when we start playing some of the kids were better than me. After that camp my dad talked to me, he said “you need to practice more and stop thinking about the other kids who has more experience than you” .
When I was 13 years old, me and my family moved here in Rancho Cucamonga. It was summer and I’m done in middle school. Then I went to Rancho Cucamonga High School for four years and I played four years basketball. During my freshman year I tried out and made the team, that was the start I learned what is the “real” basketball is. At first it was all fun to me I didn’t take it serious. We practice every single day and because of basketball I made a lot of friends already. It’s way different because I learned basketball by watching my dad and NBA and now I’m part of a high school team and it was difficult when I started because it was all new to me. We ran plays and coach tell us what we are going to do every possession. I put the hard work and effort during that four years and it was hard to maintain your grades and play sports. Everyday I’m tired and if we were not doing anything during class I always take a nap. Scholarships made me motivated and also my coach and teammates. Every year 1 or 2 of my teammates get a scholarship to play in college. I lose my hope during my senior year because I didn’t get any offer from any college school and I almost quit playing basketball because I thought it was a mistake to dream big and play college basketball.
Around January and February last year (2018), I got an offer from one of the university in the Philippines, the University of the East (UE) where my dad started his basketball career. So after that I called my dad and said “should I accept the offer or just stay here with my mom and finish college?” and he said “this is your dream since you’re a kid so why not accept it”. I also talked to my mom and said the same thing as my dad. So yeah I accepted the offer and I went back in the Philippines last summer and stayed there for 2 months. It brings back the memory when I was a kid, I hangout with my friends, play basketball with them. Me and my dad practice every single day and taught me a lot of things in basketball like small techniques and stuff like that. Then after like 2 weeks, we went to the school that offered me a scholarship and it went well with the administrator and the head coach. When I signed the offer sheet that was one of the best day of my life. All the efforts and hard work I put on paid off and it keeps me motivated to dream big a chase it.