Quick! Check Out These Pictures Of Kobe Paras, The UP Maroons' Newest Courtside Cutie Out To Conquer College Ball And Academics, Too
It's official! The star athlete is the University of the Philippines' newest recruit and one of their biggest investments in making their long-awaited UAAP comeback.
Kobe, the son of Benjie Paras and Jackie Forster and little brother to Andrei Paras, is on the UP Maroons men's basketball team roster. Having taken three months to make the major life decision, Kobe made the wait well worth it with UP Maroons coach Bo Perasol being the happiest to receive the news.
Welcome home @_kokoparas ????— UP Fighting Maroons (@upmbt) July 11, 2018
No one could have quite predicted the move as Kobe was originally set to take root in the US, where he first played for University of California, Los Angeles in 2015, Creighton University in 2016, and California State University, Northridge in 2017.
In March this year, the 6'5" baller made a total 180 by announcing that he was going pro, but in the Philippines. He's since played as a Gilas Pilipinas Cadets in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup, making those games his first true immersion in Philippine basketball.
His most recent move, on the other hand, is by far that worthiest of admiration. While most young men with dreams of sporting success like Kobe willingly trade school for a life on the court, Kobe took the path less traveled by deciding to juggle a blossoming sports career and a healthy academic life.
"The University of the Philippines is the most respected educational institution in the country. The attraction of UP is not just its basketball program, which just gets better each year, but the world-class education it is known for," he shared.
The 20-year-old made it clear that his enrollment in the University of the Philippines won't only be defined by his participation in basketball, but also by his commitment to earning a degree in one of the country's top schools. By doing so, Kobe's already building himself up as a great role model for basketball star aspirants who are sure to cheer for him when he plays his first game as Fighting Maroon in UAAP Season 82.
As a side note, Kobe addressed the sports team's fans' concerns relating to pressure to match, or even surpass, his father's achievements, that he may be feeling on social media.
moves had to be made— Kobe Lorenzo Forster Paras (@_kokoparas) July 11, 2018
I’m not here to chase any ghost.— Kobe Lorenzo Forster Paras (@_kokoparas) July 11, 2018
I’m here to enjoy my life and create my own wave.
Men's basketball, the most popular category in college sports, is sure to be made more exciting with the addition of Kobe and other new Fighting Maroons recruits Will Gozum, Jun Manzo, Nigerian import Bright Akhuetie, brothers Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, and Ricci Rivero.
According to coach Bo, the goal for UAAP Season 82 is to at least secure a spot in the competition's top four. To help them hit that mark, the team will soon head out to Serbia and Croatia where they will rigorously train in basketball camps, sans any distractions. Kobe, however, will not be joining the team in Europe.
Regardless of where he trains, be it abroad or on Philippine soil, Kobe has more than a year to prepare before we see him make it big on the court next year. We'll be counting down the days until we see him show off his talent, which we're sure he's got lots of!
Photos from @_kokoparas