THE pandemic hasn’t stopped Fil-American basketball players from looking to pursue a career in the Philippines. One of them is Patrick Jamison, a product of New Jersey Institute of Technology who is aiming to break into the leagues in the Philippines despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 23-year-old Jamison, who played NCAA Division I basketball with the Highlanders during the 2018-2019, said he is preparing for an opportunity that could open up in the Philippines in hopes of playing in the PBA someday, despite the uncertainties due to the pandemic.
“I’ve been training relentlessly this past few months especially I’m living in Florida and training two or three times a day,” said the 5-foot-9 Jamison, born to Filipino parents in the United States. “I’ve been preparing as much as I can, doing everything I can just to prepare for the opportunity in the Philippines because my goal is to eventually play in the PBA. I’ve been putting on the work every single day.”
Jamison said he is getting help from Kiko Flores, coach of the Asian Institute Maritime Studies, in his bid to play in the country.
“He’s been telling me there are a few teams interested. I’m not sure if there is an initial offer right now. I think they really want to see me in person first. Right now, I’m just trying to get my name out there and for the coaches to take a look at me.”
“Hopefully, once this whole pandemic kinda dies down a bit, get the vaccines going, I can fly out to the Philippines and get a real good look at me in person,” said Jamison.
In his high school career, Jamison guided West Orange High School to the 2015 and 2016 SEC Colonial Conference title. In 2016, he was voted as the best three-point shooter in New Jersey by NJ.com after shooting 56 percent from the area.
He was also selected all-Area first team as a senior, and second-team All-Conference as a junior and senior.
It was during this time where he was made aware of the PBA by his father.
“Growing up, it’s always my dream to play in the NBA like most players in the States. But my dad was always like, if you don’t make it to the NBA, the PBA is very big. It’s the NBA of the Philippines. I was starting to pay attention to Philippine basketball maybe during my junior year of high school,” said Jamison, who considers retired cager Jimmy Alapag as one of the players that he follows and emulates.
He also cherishes the experience of playing Division I basketball in the United States.
“All fo them were at least the best players in high school. It was very competitive every single day in practice. It was great competition. It was really a challenge every single day to step your game up,” said Jamison.
Jamison said the target is the 2022 PBA draft, but he also hopes to get an opportunity to show his skills in the MPBL and the PBA D-League.
“I can’t wait. We are hoping that we would get a team in the MPBL. That’s definitely a goal as well as the PBA D-League. It feels uncertain due to the Covid but I would definitely going to fly out to the Philippines and test my options,” said Jamison.
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