FIL-Nigerian AJ Edu is back in the country for the first time in 15 years. And judging from the way things are going, the trip to the Philippines could become more frequent.
The 6-foot-9 teenager admitted being thrilled at the prospect of suiting up for Batang Gilas after getting acquainted in person with local basketball on Wednesday.
Accompanied by Filipina mom, the former Josie Litang, Edu met with Batang Gilas coach Michael Oliver, team manager Andrew Teh, and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio a day upon his arrival to talk about the possibility of becoming part of the national team in the near future.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Edu at ringside of the Smart Araneta Coliseum while watching the PBA Governors Cup game between NLEX and Mahindra with mother Josie.
“It (future) looks bright.”
Earlier in the day, Edu joined the Ateneo Blue Eagles in their scrimmage at the Moro Lorenzo gym, with coach Tab Baldwin keenly watching and observing on the sidelines.
“That would be one of the options,” was his reply when asked if he’s going to play for the Blue Eagles.
Edu was born in Cyprus but is a holder of a Philippine passport. His entire family is based in the United Kingdom where his father works as a lecturer, but he’s been to the country when he was still a year old.
The Fil-Nigerian, the eldest in a brood of five, is looking forward of meeting some of his relatives from Surigao in his week of stay here.
He doesn’t speak Filipino but is familiar with basic words such as ‘salamat,’ ‘kamusta,’ and ‘mabuhay.’ He’s also fond of local dishes such as pansit and adobo.
The young lanky player counts on Rain or Shine guard Gabe Norwood as the PBA player who impressed him, and admitted being a Lakers fan.
Told about the prospect of playing with Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson with the national team someday, Edu’s eyes quickly lighted up.
“That would be a dream come true,” he said.