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    Nostalgic Black gives nod to basketball roots

    Oct 20, 2012

    CHAMPION coach Norman Black is giving something back to his basketball roots.

    Named as brand ambassador of Skil, Black led the launching of the `Paint The Town Red’ campaign on Friday at Barangay Bangkal in Makati City.

    Black, who recently steered the Ateneo Blue Eagles to their fifth straight UAAP men’s basketball championship, is going all-out in supporting the project, which aims to further propagate the sport of basketball by building basketball courts in selected barangays in the country.

    The PBA Grand Slam coach added he started to appreciate the sport by learning to play it at a young age on more or less the same neighborhood courts back in his hometown in Baltimore, Maryland.

    “Parang nung bata ako. I started just like this in a neighborhood court,” said Black during the event launch hosted by Skil, a leading brand in the power tool industry.

    “That's where I came from. I know what it feels like to play in a barangay and in a neighborhood court where sports would be your only outlet," said the former PBA import, one of the best to have played in the local pro league.

    "It's my way of giving back even a little bit. I know what it's like to be in some situation. People here grew up the same way as I did so it's just natural to me right now."

    Aiming to build 40 half-courts in selected barangays nationwide, Black hopes both kids and adults would make use of the facilities to hone their game and to stay out of trouble.

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    Black, who has settled in the country for three decades now, said he wants to share his knowledge of the sport through projects like this, and at the same time, develop the sport from the grass roots level.

    "That's what it's all about (the grass roots). When you're successful, it's your obligation to share your knowledge. Keeping your knowledge to yourself doesn't help others and it doesn't even help you. When you share your knowledge you never know who you can affect," he said.

    The new Talk `N Text coach hopes the campaign will produce players who eventually will make it to either high school or varsity teams, or more so, to the professional level.

    After the first stop in Makati, more half-courts will be constructed around Manila and Cebu.

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