BENJIE Paras has been apart from Kobe Paras for almost a year now. And it seems father and son will be separated much longer now that Kobe has picked up an offer to play for University of California Los Angeles in college.
But the elder Paras doesn’t mind, filled with pride that his high-flying son has received an offer from a top US NCAA Division I school.
“I’m very happy and proud na yung sacrifice namin pareho na being away from each other ay nagbunga naman,” the San Beda assistant coach said in a chat with Spin.ph on Wednesday after the Red Lions captured a fifth straight NCAA men’s basketball title.
Although father and son see each other occasionally, they have been thousands of miles away most of the time since the younger Paras transferred to the US to play for Cathedral High School in Los Angeles and chase his hoop dreams.
The exposure the 16-year-old wingman got there earned him an offer from the Bruins, who are coached by former Indiana Hoosiers guard Steve Alford.
The elder Paras, though, clarified the UCLA offer has yet to be put in writing.
“It’s a verbal agreement pa lang, so we will wait for next year in his senior high,” he said of his son, a third-year high school student who previously played for the La Salle Greenies.
Paras, who in 1989 became the only player in PBA history to win MVP honors as a rookie, said his son also received offers from Arizona and University of California, Irvine.
“Wala naman kaming pinipili,” he said. “Kung saan siya mas mapapabuti. I’m sure alam ng coach nila sa Cathedral kung ano yung best for him.”
Paras is confident his 6-foot-6 son has what it takes to stand toe-to-toe with the competition there after seeing the big leap in his game since he moved to the US.
“He improved well nung napunta siya sa America. Siyempre yung training ‘dun iba eh and he’s competing with taller and faster players, kaya na-develop siya.”