Saturday, October 11, 2014
Benjie Paras says no formal offer yet by UCLA to son Kobe
Filipino basketball fans got excited when the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that 6-foot-6 teen sensation Kobe Paras has picked up a scholarship offer from UCLA.
While the news is seen as a huge boost to Paras' stock as he is set to make his high school debut for LA Cathedral next month, his father Benjie, the only PBA Rookie-MVP, tempers the expectations on his son to protect him from unnecessary hype.
"Actually, hindi naman talaga formal offer. Nagpakita ng interest pa lang. Ganun naman sa US eh. Junior high school pa lang naman siya, siguro pagdating niya sa senior year doon talaga makikitaan ng formal offer," Benjie told Philstar on Friday.
Aside from UCLA that produced NBA stars Kevin Love, Russel Westbrook and all-time scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the younger Paras also drew interest from Arizona State, Fresno State and Irvine College after an impressive showing in pre-season games.
"Nung una, siyempre na-excite ako kaso after lumabas yung mga ganung balita, di naman kami binalikan. So sabi ko na lang sa kanya, 'make the most out of it while you are there'," the elder Paras said.
The younger Paras rose to international fame when a YouTube video of his dunk over LeBron James during the Nike Manila Tour last year went viral. His stock also soared when he won the slam dunk title in the FIBA U-18 3x3 world championship before he left to try his luck in the US.
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The former two-time PBA MVP wants his son to focus on getting better and not to be swayed by hype.
"Lagi kong pinapa-alala sa kanya to continue working hard and mag-focus sa studies niya. If he do well satournament, for sure nandiyan lang yung mga offer," said the PBA legend.