Taylor Browne feels thrilled to play alongside fellow rookie Ben Adamos in Alaska, years after first meeting each other in the United States.
The Fil-Canadian may be coming into the PBA as a relatively unknown commodity, but he’s actually familiar with some present-day pros. He met a few when he accepted San Beda’s invitation to visit their training camp in Las Vegas back in 2016.
There, he was able to work with the likes of NorthPort star Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine, and of course the 6-foot-7 Adamos, the Aces’ seventh overall pick in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft last March 14.
“It was a good experience,” Browne told 2OT, presented by SMART. “Met guys like Javee Mocon, Robert Bolick; Calvin Oftana were there.
“And Ben Adamos was there too — so that was cool that we got drafted together.”
The Surrey-native piqued the Red Lions’ interest after they saw him play in a scrimmage in Vancouver. The NCAA powerhouse tried to recruit the then-high schooler with Holy Cross to come over to the Philippines.
“I got invited to a scrimmage and they said that one of the Filipino coaches that I know invited me to come play. And he said that recruiter from San Beda was there, Boss Jude Roque and Benjie Paras,” he recalled.
“So I came and play. I did pretty well, I was a standout there for sure. And they asked me after, like, ‘Hey would you like to come play in the Philippines? What’s your plan?’
Browne, however, had already committed to the University of British Columbia (UBC) by that time. San Beda still knocked on his door after his second year in college — thus the Las Vegas invite.
“I think at that time I already committed at playing at UBC … But after my second year at UBC, Boss Jude messaged me and said ‘Hey, you wanna come to our training camp in Vegas?’ So I went,” he said.
Ultimately, he decided to remain with the Thunderbirds, since he wanted to pursue a degree in one of the top universities in Canada.
“At the end of the day, I truly felt that I wanted to get a degree from UBC. Like, it’s my mom’s dream for me to get an education and degree from an elite school, so I really want to make sure I finish that,” he said.
“At the end of the day, basketball will always be there. My goal is always to go to the PBA eventually, but I want to make sure I have a fallback.”
Browne has no regrets about how everything had turned out for him. The Aces picked him at 15th overall, then signed him to a deal — alongside Adamos — just last Tuesday.
“It all worked out in the end. I’m excited and happy to finally be a part of Alaska Aces.”