Benjie Paras to son Kobe after UCLA withdrawal: There’s no easy way to success

Benjie Paras immediately flew to the US to be with his son, Kobe, as the Filipino basketball prodigy goes through challenging times.

The younger Paras has withdrawn from UCLA, to which he was committed to play as early as his junior high, due to ‘academic conditions not being met’.

The older Paras, the only PBA Rookie-MVP in history, emailed to FOX Sports a copy of the official statement of Middlebrooks Basketball Academy clarifying the issue as varied interpretations of the UCLA decision had gone viral in social media.

There are two points that Kobe’s camp would like to clarify.

“The first point is the UCLA Athletic Department has communicated to Kobe and his family that Kobe is indeed a full academic qualifier per NCAA Eligibility Center academic requirements,” the official statement said.

“The second point is the UCLA Admissions Department (which is a separate entity from the Athletic Department) made a corporate decision on June 28, 2016 to deny Kobe Paras admission to UCLA, thus prompting Kobe to leave UCLA’s summer school session,” the statement added.

Kobe Paras’ camp maintained that UCLA did not give them a detailed explanation of the decision not to admit the former Cathedral Phantom swingman, who is a 3-star recruit and ranked 10th in the 2016 class in California by 247sports.com.

The decision also was met with disappointment by the UCLA coaching staff led by Steve Alford, who talked fondly of Kobe and likened him to NBA back-to-back slam dunk champion and former UCLA Bruin Zach LaVine, during the recruitment process.

Like LaVine, Kobe is also a back-to-back slam dunk champion in the FIBA U-18 3×3 world competition.

“The UCLA coaching staff and Kobe Paras are all deeply sorrowful over this university decision that is unfortunately beyond all of their control,” the statement also said.

Kobe Paras’ camp is ready to move on with a lot of Division I schools outside UCLA reportedly have shown interest to enlist the Filipino wunderkind.

Benjie advised Kobe to remain strong and not disheartened.

“There’s no easy way to success. It will always be a long, rough and bumpy road. But you don’t stop. You need to go through it,” Benjie recounted to FOX Sports in a text message from California. – By Alder Almo

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Here’s the official statement in full:

kobe statement 1 revised
kobe paras 2

 

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