Meet Kendrick Baguion, the five-year-old son of former PBA point guard guard Froilan Baguion.
Unlike most kids his age, the young Baguion has been surprising a lot of basketball fans, including some former PBA stars, with his shooting skills. The kid can really shoot.
On Monday, Spin.ph caught Kendrick in a shootaround while waiting for his father to finish his practice with DeLeague side FEU-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation team at the FEU-NRMF Gym in Fairview, Quezon City.
And much to the delight of the players and a handful of fans present, Kendrick was able to make a couple of baskets using a regular ball that looks almost half his size, in a standard-height basketball goal.
See the video:
Former PBA player Leo Avenido said if the kid continues his progress, he is no doubt money in the bank.
“Pera na yang bata na 'yan, biruin mo five years old, nakaka-shoot. 'Yung anak ko four years old hindi umaabot ang tira,” said the former Coca-Cola and Alaska guard.
“May future 'yan. Pera na 'yan. Saka point guard yung tatay, matuturuan niya yan,” he added. “Bihira ang ganyang bata sa edad na 'yan na makaka-shoot sa regular ring gamit ang regular na bola.”
Even two-time PBA MVP Willie Miller was impressed.
“Gifted yung batang 'yun. Sana ma-develop pa ng husto, kasi advanced ang talent niya for his age ha. Tignan mo naman, hindi lang nakaka-dribble ng maayos, nakaka-shoot pa sa regular ring,” said Miller.
Baguion, a journeyman guard who played three seasons in the PBA with Welcoat (now Rain or Shine), San Miguel Beer and Coca Cola, bared his son won't let a day pass without dribbling and shooting a ball.
“Naglalaro ng ibang laruan 'yan - baril, iPad, pero sa isang araw, hindi siya pupuwedeng hindi maglaro ng basketball. Maglalaro at maglalaro yan. Yayayain nya ko na maglaro ng one-on-one,” said the Asean Basketball League (ABL) veteran.
“Dalawang oras maglaro ng basketball araw-araw 'yan. Papasok lang siya ng 8 to 10 ng umaga tapos maglalaro na yan,” he added.
Baguion shared that his son developed a passion for the game while tagging along in his practices since last year.
“Mahilig kasing sumama sa akin yan sa practice. Sumasabay siya sa akin ng practice, kahit noong naglaro ako sa Thailand, lagi ko siyang kasama sa practice. Tig-isa kami ng bola, hinahayaan ko lang siyang mag dribble sa court, kung ano ang gusto niya,” he said.
“Marami ngang bumibilib, marami ang nagugulat. Marunong na siyang mag-dribble, advantage siya sa ibang mga five years old kasi marunong na siyang mag-shoot ng malayo ng kaunti,” said the Navotas City-raised cager.
“Gusto niya laging may kalaro, gusto niya mas malaki yung ka-one-on-one niya, ayaw niya yung maliit na bata.”
The younger Baguion told Spin.ph he wants to follow in the footsteps of his dad and eventually eclipse his achievements as a professional player.
“Gusto ko pong maglaro ng basketball, masaya po ako eh,” Kendrick said.
His dad would love that.
“I wish marating niya 'yun. Gusto ko kasi na siya ang tumupad sa mga pangarap ko na hindi ko naabot. And I will make sure na aalalayan ko siya at ituturo ang mga tama at i-correct sa kanya ang mga mali,” he said.
“Gusto niya maglaro eh. Willing siya. So sana, makilala siya sa basketball.”
See video of interview with Baguion and other former PBA players: