WHILE focus is shifting to the coming 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, there is one young player who can't wait to join next year's freshman pool.
His name: Taylor Statham.
For the past three years, Statham has been coming in and out of the country trying to qualify for the PBA draft by making the required detour to the PBA D-League.
No such luck.
“I just can’t find the perfect time to get a team,” Statham told Spin.ph, explaining that he has been getting offers to play in different leagues overseas.
“Right now, I am keeping my focus on the PBA D-League where I can finally earn the needed requirements for me to get myself eligible [for the PBA draft],” he added.
Statham, who is set to spearhead FEU-NRMF's title drive in the coming Liga Manila, was supposed to be part of this year’s PBA rookie pool, but an offer to play in Thailand and in the US forced him to forego his bid for a D-League prerequisite.
Nicknamed the White Assasin, the 6-6 Fil-American can play the point guard spot and has a shooting touch that extends to the three-point area.
“I really can’t wait to go up against the PBA’s stars. I know I can learn a lot from them and hopefully I want to become one of them,” he said while mentioning Danny Seigle and Calvin Abueva as his two all-time favorite Filipino players.
The former Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes forward in the US NCAA Division II has played against NBA players like James Harden, Nick Young, Javale McGee, Tarik Black and at the same time became teammates with Cuttino Mobley, Glen Davis, and Aaron Harrison in the annual Drew League in Los Angeles.
Statham revealed that playing alongside these players toughened him up.
“I learned so much from Marcus and Cat (Mobley). Playing with them helped me a lot this summer,” he said.
He has another offer to play in Chinese-Taipei and Finland, but this time is focusing on his PBA dream.
“Those offers are short-term, the PBA if God permits will be long term and everybody knows, the PBA is the best league and the first of its kind in Asia,” he said.
“I just hope to play in the PBA and after three years I think I have matured and mentally I developed a lot."
For now, Statham is waiting for the PBA D-League draft where he is expected to be one of the top picks.
“I am putting all my energy and time here in the D-League. This is the only way there (to the big league),” he said.