NICK Demusis came to the country chasing his dream of playing in the PBA.
But as he takes a step closer to achieving that goal, he's no longer doing this just for himself anymore but for his new family, including three-month-old daughter Bella with partner Rizza Diaz.
"I've always wanted to play in the PBA and it's been a dream of mine," he said. "And now having a daughter, I will be able to play in front of her and my family and also provide as a father for them, and at the same time fulfill a dream I've always had."
The 29-year old Fil-Am forward burst to the scene in 2019 with the Bacoor City Strikers, where he immediately blew coaches away with his athleticism.
In his lone season in Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), the 6-foot-4 banger averaged 8.3 points on 47-percent shooting clip, to go with 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.4 minutes through 19 games.
Solid as those numbers were, Demusis himself knows he's capable of a lot more.
The Leyte-born high-flyer was a solid contributor for NCAA Division III school Whittier College, posting 18.4 points on 49-percent clip, to go with 6.2 boards, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals in his final year in the 2014-15 season.
After graduating, Demusis played for Madgoat in the Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL) where he netted 14.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.
"I feel like I'm a pocket knife-type of a player that can do multiple things on the court," he said, taking pride in his versatility that allows him to play every position from point guard to power forward.
Still, that run with Bacoor was a valuable stepping stone for Demusis.
"I thought that the best way for me to get ready for the PBA is through the MPBL, and with the Strikers, I'm thankful for Cong. Strike and Mam Chaye (Revilla) in helping me a lot with my adjustment because they treated us all like family," he said.
Demusis also gained mentors in the process in Rain or Shine deputy and concurrent Bacoor coach Chris Gavina as well as former MBA stud Sunny Margate.
"Coach Chris has been giving me advice on the importance of making an impact as a rookie on both ends of the floor," he said. "Kuya Sunny has also been holding me accountable, making sure I'm mentally prepared because I'm going to be competing against the best of the best now."
Demusis is convinced that he's physically and mentally prepared for the PBA wars.
"I'd love to play for a team that’s willing to give me a opportunity to compete and contribute in whatever way is needed from me to achieve the common goal and that is to win games and championships," he said.
"I just want them to know that they are going to get a player that will show up to work everyday and give his all day-in and day-out."