Jordan Heading is full of excitement now that he is about to realize his childhood dream of playing for Gilas Pilipinas Men.
The Fil-Australian guard will enter the national team pool, as he is among those that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will pick in the special Gilas round of the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft in March.
“To be honest, I was pretty surprised when I received a call from SBP asking if I was interested.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play for Gilas again, so I was super excited,” he told Tiebreaker Times on Monday.
For Heading, he already knew that he wanted to be part of the seniors’ team when he suited up for Batang Gilas in the 2011 FIBA U-16 Championship. Back then, he became teammates with current cadet Isaac Go.
It may have taken about a decade for that to materialize, but as the saying goes — better late than never.
And he’s coming in with much more experience than he had back then. He played years in college with California Baptist, before having a solid season with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the 2019-20 ASEAN Basketball League.
“Having played for Batang Gilas when I was younger is something that I’m very proud of, so I’m stoked for another Gilas opportunity,” he said.
With this, Heading can’t wait to buckle down to work with Gilas. For him, he’s out to fulfill whatever role he’ll be given. And he’s also looking forward to learning from program director Tab Baldwin and his system.
“I just want to play my role as best I can.
“Whatever hole that the team has, I’ll do what I can to fill it and do what’s asked of me. Coach Tab has his successful system so I’m excited to be a part of that,” said Heading, who averaged 7.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists during his time with Alab.
Aside from the national team, Heading also feels excited to be in the PBA. The league, he said, has always been on his radar, thus his eagerness now that he is about to be part of Asia’s pioneering pro league.
“The PBA is such a highly respected league that I’ve always kept an eye on. I wanted to take further steps in my pro career and jumping to the PBA helps me do just that,” the 25-year-old native of Adelaide said.
Asked what can PBA ball clubs expect from him, Heading said that his work ethic and winning mentality is what he’ll be bringing to the table.
“PBA teams can expect a hard worker and a winner. I’ve learned from a lot of great winners and competitors over my career, and I bring those lessons with me both on and off the court,” the product of Chris Baptist offered.
“I also believe my offensive arsenal will translate well into the league.”