Top prospect Kobe Paras says playing for flag and country 'the best thing ever'
Kobe Paras says he considers James Yap as the best PBA player right now and Kiefer Ravena and Rayray Parks as the best young players in the country. Jerome Ascano

KOBE Paras believes that there is nothing like playing for flag and country.

“Yeah. Playing for your country is the best thing ever,” said the 18-year old basketball phenom when asked on Friday whether he agrees with Carmelo Anthony and DeAndre Jordan’s statements that winning Olympic gold is better than winning an NBA championship.

With the hashtag #AskKobeP, the son of basketball legend Benjie Paras invited his followers on Twitter to ask him “appropriate questions” in an informal Q&A on social media.

Many of the questions surrounded the possibility of whether the 6-6 swingman would be willing to suit up for the Philippine national men’s basketball team.

“If given a chance. Why not?” said Paras, adding it “depends if the coach asks me to join (Gilas Pilipinas).”

Paras is an incoming freshman at Ceighton University.

“They treat us like family here and they don’t lie,” a possible dig on UCLA, the school Paras was originally committed to but had to withdraw from last June after failing to meet academic requirements.

[See Sorry to disappoint you, but Kobe Paras can't join Gilas in Fiba Asia Challenge Cup]

According to Paras, his main goal in college is “to win a ring with the Bluejays where the shooting guard will don the No.24 jersey.

“I’m just using 24 this year. Just wanted to represent the person I’m named after. The living legend Kobe Bryant.”

Paras, however, named three-time NBA champion LeBron James as his favorite NBA player and considers the dunk he made on 'King James' during his visit to Manila a couple of years back as the best dunk he ever made.

“But he really was just standing there. LOL,” he said.

He considers Muhammad Ali his favorite athlete and James Yap as the best PBA player right now but to no one's surprise he named his favorite PBA player as his dad, former rookie-MVP Benjie Paras.

As for the best young basketball players in the Philippines right now, “They ain’t there but its got to be Keifer Ravena and Ray Parks,” Paras said.

On his future plans after college someone asked if he will play in the PBA, Paras asnwered “Everyone wants to make it to the NBA. I’m just trusting in God’s plan for me.”

[See Kobe Paras hints desire to play for Gilas]

Other than basketball, he admitted volleyball as his other favorite sport.


Providing  a glimpse of his human side, Paras listed his favorite food (sinigang and grandma’s beef salpicao), ice cream flavor (cookie dough), superhero (Deadpool), movie ('Love Rosie'); sneakers (adidas Yeezy and Nike Kobe 4) and favorite book ('The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time').

His favorite artists: Drake, DMX, JayZ, Savage, Young Thug and Kevin Gates.

Paras admitted he misses his family, which he said is his primary motivation in basketball, but added he will not be returning to the Philippines anytime soon.

“Live life to the fullest with no regrets ‘cause you never know what’s coming next,” said the teenager.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @rhoelfernandez