Fille Claudine Cainglet is not just the first-ever pick in the country’s pioneering professional women’s basketball league, WNBL — she is also an inspiration to young kids.
Yes, both for young girls and young boys.
You see, the 32-year-old Cainglet is also serving her final year of residency in orthopedic surgery. And she was drafted back on February 13 while she was in the midst of performing an operation.
“When I was called in the draft, nagulat ako. Actually, lahat kami nagulat,” she shared during a press conference hosted by her team Glutagence.
“This is a historic moment. I am more than honored to be part of this history.”
It has been more than a decade since the floor general played competitive basketball.
After five stellar years at University of the Philippines in the UAAP, Cainglet’s only avenue to play was in pick-up games. This basketball-hungry country had yet to build a home for women’s basketball players.
But in her return, she became more than just a player. Now, she is an inspiration to many that one can both have a day job and still be a pro athlete.
It’s a responsibility that she embraces.
“I’m very happy to be a role model for the younger generation, to inspire them to follow their dreams, and [show] that they can do anything they put their mind to,” she shared.
“I’m happy to be that role model for them, and I think I’m very happy I was able to achieve where I am now. Everything’s because of hard work, and nothing of value comes without hard work.”
Even Cainglet does not know whether she still has the same game as she had a decade ago. But for her, greatness is not about how many points you get.
Greatness is about how many lives you can change.
“I’m happy to bring them inspiration, and Kobe [Bryant] once said that greatness means you were able to inspire people,” said Cainglet.
“If I bring inspiration to them in going to their duties during this pandemic, then I’m happy to be that inspiration.”