The global grind for the journeyman has begun.
After a three-year stint in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines that saw him wrap it up with a silver medal finish back in Season 77, former Far Eastern University Tamaraws foreign student-athlete Anthony Hargrove has now returned to competitive basketball, this time as a pro cager overseas.
Hargrove averaged seven points on 51.4% shooting, 6.2 rebounds, and .8 blocks in his collegiate career with the Tamaraws. Moreover, he started all but four of the Tamaraws’ regular season games and was a pivotal piece during FEU’s 2012-14 campaign.
The six-foot-six forward had just signed with a top-tier basketball franchise, Aspac Jakarta, on a three-year deal, to serve as the team’s foreign reinforcement in the Indonesian Basketball League, or IBL, Indonesia’s premier play-for-pay professional league.
“It’s an amazing feeling, for it’s something I always wanted [to do],” stated Hargrove. “[This is] something that I’m not taking for granted. It’s a blessing.”
The Newark, New Jersey native opened up and detailed how negotiations between his camp and Aspac had sparked.
“A friend of my agent’s assistant messaged me on Facebook and asked if I was interested. At first I wasn’t, but then I spoke with the Aspac management. They brought me to Jakarta and played a couple of games with the team. I did pretty well, and they constantly brought me from Manila to Jakarta for practice,” he explained.
“As I got closer to the team and the management, my agent, Nino Reyes, and I sat down and talked about it. After that, I went,” said Hargrove, who last saw action in the Marikina-based DEL League, suiting up for the FEU-NRMF Basketball Team back in 2014.
Hargrove, however, admitted that he had considered many factors before signing the dotted line of his Aspac contract, with family at the top of his list.
“It wasn’t easy. It was a long process of not being decided on what to do. For me, I was tired of being away from my son and my girlfriend,” he said. “But my girlfriend talked to me, and told me its work and a dream I’ve always wanted. So yeah, I’m here now,” added Hargrove, who had spent almost a year away from competitive ball here in the Philippines prior to the meet-up with Aspac.
“I’m actually like a point forward for the team, [which is] something I really like doing,” said the Amateur Athletic Union alumnus, who once played for the New York Gauchos alongside NBA star Kemba Walker way back in 2008 in the United States.
But aside from maximizing his game as a point forward, Hargrove feels that he can also provide the needed intangibles, all for the betterment of the team.
“I can provide leadership. I honestly feel that this is something that I can handle. It’s a challenge for me, like when the team-needs-me type of thing. This role has more responsibility and I want it,” shared the soft-spoken wingman.
As a new season unfolds this January 2016, Hargrove’s primary focus is to help the franchise win title number five in the league. Aspac won the gold last 2014 against the league’s most-lauded team, Satria Muda, which has seven titles under their belt.
When asked about the legacy he wants to leave the Aspac faithful with, once his three-year deal reaches its expiration, all that Hargrove desires is to be remembered as a champion – a champion who did not play for himself but for the team and the people who believe in them.
“I want to bring a championship to Aspac. That’s goal number one. Individual awards are OK, but that’s not my concern,” Hargrove concluded.
What are the fondest memories you have with Hargrove? Sound-off in our comments section below and send him well-wishes
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