New Orleans Pelicans’ guard Norris Cole has been in Manila for almost a week now but once he go back in the US, he is excited to see one particular promising college player this summer.
In town to help the coaches of the Jr. NBA/WNBA National Training Camp, Cole looks forward to meet Filipino basketball sensation Kobe Paras, who is currently in the US to chase his NBA dream.
“I heard he’s pretty good,” said Cole of Paras to FOX Sports. “I’m looking forward to see him. I know one of his teammates, Prince Ali of UCLA.”
In November 2015, Paras was formally signed by US NCAA Division I’s UCLA, the same school that produced many NBA stars Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook among others, after his steady performance for Cathedral High School and Middlebrooks Academy.
“I’ll be watching him. UCLA is a great school, I think he’s gonna take advantage of the opportunity and he’s gonna make your country very, very happy,” added Cole before indulging in the training session with the Jr. NBA participants sponsored by Gatorade in the Focus Fitness gym at Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati.
Curiously, the son of former PBA star Benjie Paras was once a proud product of the Jr. NBA program, who also played for the La Salle Greenhills and even the national youth squad, before finding his luck in the US.
But to enter and thrive in the NBA, Cole emphasized that Paras and other aspiring Filipino cagers should evolve themselves into a multi-dimensional type of player to keep up with the fast-changing game of basketball.
“You just have to work your all-around game, the game has constantly evolving that’s why you have to be well-rounded in skills set,” said Cole, who won 2 NBA championships with the ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in Miami Heat.
“As long as your well-rounded in skills set, you have the chance because it start off with the fundamentals, if you’re a fundamental player you can play, whether its small ball, whether its post, whether it’s all guards, any type of system,” added Cole, who is now playing with up-and-coming NBA superstar Anthony Davis at the Pelicans.
“Work on their fundamentals, and go hard, playing hard is key, basically, if you have the fundamentals and it gives you a chance to win,” he concluded. – By Jason Mercene
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