It’s been over a month since Kobe Paras left Cal State Northridge and decided to “go pro”. During that span, there was plenty of speculations about what the 20-year-old meant with that tweet.
Monday afternoon, he was able to shed light on his next step after what other people saw as a turbulent four-year stay in the States.
“When I say go pro, it doesn’t mean NBA.
“There’s a lot of people that kept saying NBA. It is a professional league but there’s a lot of pro teams out there. When I announced to go pro, it was because of my coach, Coach Reggie [Theus], he got fired. It was shocking to me that he got fired because I was ready to play. Since that happened I had to make a decision to myself,” reflected the second generation cager during his homecoming that was hosted by Chooks-to-Go.
“I’m glad I’m here now, when I said I was going to go pro, Chooks was there for me.”
Paras’ father Benjie has been in talks with Chooks-to-Go about bringing his son home from the States. According to Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascarinas, his company did not hesitate to say yes, as they want to help continue the development of Kobe both as an athlete and as a person.
“Very clear naman ang mission ng company, to support our national athletes, and Kobe is not just a national athlete, he’s really a national treasure, so we want to make it easy for Kobe to fulfill or to grow to his potential,” shared Mascarinas, one of the backers of Gilas Pilipinas.
“For a lot of reasons beyond his control, hindi nabigyan ng playing time sa US. Those circumstances are stunting yung growth ni Kobe, so the family decided to come back, and whatever the plans are in the future, we will be behind them for Kobe to realize his full potential.”
Kobe feels that his journey in the States — that saw him jump through three colleges — was a necessary step for to him grow.
“It was an eye-opening experience, honestly, it was one of the greatest decisions I made in my life, to leave the Philippines and go to the US.
“The US has all the tools to create a good player. When I was there in the US, I got trained like I never got trained before,” Paras shared. “When I was here I was skinny, I went to the US and bulked up and I could control my diet. I played 2-3, in the US, it made me mature a lot as a player.
“Last year my mind was just lost because I just left Creighton, I think last year was my boiling point. In my mind, I was too pressured, at the same time I wanted to play. At least now, I’m more open for everything. I see the court different, because I haven’t played college for two years, I learned a lot,” he furthered.
Now given the opportunity to play with his peers in the Gilas Cadets for the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup, Paras wants to impart to them what he learned overseas.
“It was hard because I left when I was 15, and you don’t see a lot of 15 year old these days who leave their family. It helped me a lot, I matured at a young age,” he said.
“I could bring whatever I learned there. It’s different. I want to help other athletes too. There are a lot of kids now with potential that I really want to help.”
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