It can be such a source of pride for a parent to have a child of his following his footsteps. Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Benjie Paras might have been content enough to see his son Kobe, named after also-retired NBA icon Mr. Bryant, developing his prodigious talent for basketball. Then Kobe Paras became good enough to study college in the US where he could play for school teams in their NCAA. However, following events at his current alma mater at Cal State Northridge, Kobe has dropped a bombshell to fans stateside and in the Philippines: he is going pro.
CNN Philippines reports that Kobe Paras, rising star in US NCAA college basketball and Philippine National player as of the 2017 SEA Games, has announced on an Instagram video that he is now gearing for a professional career in the sport he loves with his father and older brother. The decision was publicized this Friday, March 9, shortly after a shakeup in the sporting organization of Cal State Northridge, where Kobe is studying and currently playing as part of their NCAA roster. His team’s head coach Reggie Theus, and athletic director Dr. Brandon Martin, were both sacked by the school.
“I know it seems like a giant step that no one was expecting, but that is what makes this one of the greatest announcements of my life” Kobe commented on Instagram. “Although I am a [Creighton] Bluejay & [Cal State Northridge] Matador at heart and thank Coach Theus and the CSUN staff for everything…It’s time for me to shape my own destiny in an even bigger wave.” In a follow-up press statement, he thanked the faculty and staff of CSUN, where he transferred following a brief athletic stint at Creighton University, for giving him a chance to play the game.
Kobe further elaborated in his statement that his choice to cut college ball short and jump into the pro pool was done with “clear and mutual love and understanding”. The young basketball ace, only 20 years old, has not specified how he was going to enter the professional leagues but is confident that “many doors” are now open to him. Nevertheless, Cal State Northridge has assured Kobe that if he has not been signed by an agent, he is still welcome to rejoin the Matadors NCAA team and resume playing collegiate ball for the 2018-2019 Season, starting later this year.
Kobe’s father Benjie Paras was a 2-time PBA MVP, the first of which he received in his first season, the only player in the history of the Philippine league to have earned the award as a rookie. You may read the full text of Kobe Paras’ press statement here: