Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez said fast-rising Pinoy hoops star Kobe Paras has the potential to become the first Philippine-born Filipino to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The 7-foot player from North Hollywood, California was aware of the exploits of Paras in the United States through his Filipino-American friends, adding he won’t be surprised if the 6-foot-6 player out of La Salle Greenhills penetrates the biggest stage in basketball.
“I think he has all the talent to do it, he just needs to continue working for it,” said Lopez, who is in town to support the NBA-AXA partnership as the league’s way of promoting its grassroots development programs that encompass physical health and making right financial decisions.
“It will be so cool to have Filipino player in the league. It is something special and it would be great for NBA, for himself and for the Philippines as well,” added Lopez. “I wish all the best for him if he continues to work, I think, he’ll obviously get drafted.”
The 29-year old Lopez was impressed with the passion of the Filipinos toward basketball. He said Paras can only realize his NBA dream if he has the right attitude in the game.
“It’s been exciting for me to watch (his development). Like I said, growing up with my best friends and point guards in high school, who are Filipino-American, they have kept me up to date on his career path,” said Lopez.
After a limited exposure with Creighton University, Paras left the Bluejays and will now pursue his collegiate career at the California State University Northridge.
While on break, Paras will join forces with fellow collegiate stars Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng as well as with NLEX center JR Quianahan for the International Basketball Federation 3×3 World Cup slated on June 17 to 21 in Nantes, France.