JERRAMY King’s pursuit of the NBA is taking a back seat for now, as he tries to make it to the PBA first.
The 24-year-old King made himself available as one of 63 aspirants available in Sunday’s Annual Draft at Robinsons’ Place in Manila even though he has already made steps in trying to suit up in the NBA.
Between the months of June and July, the Fil-American guard worked out with the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas.
In college, King played for NCAA Division I school Long Beach State from 2009 to 2011 where he had a chance to play against the likes of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Lance Stephenson, and Eric Bledsoe, all of which are now in the NBA.
And so why try his luck in the PBA instead?
It’s a wish his Filipina grandmother Rita Dinsay and mother Jocylane Dinsay, who trace their roots in Gimba, Nueva Ecija, King had granted.
King said his grandmother and mother are both big basketball fans, mentioning Robert Jaworski and James Yap as the players they idolize, and that they wanted him to play professional ball in the Philippines.
“I was going to play basketball in Europe or other parts of Asia,” said King in an interview with Spin.ph before draft day.
“But my grandmother said ‘Why don’t you just go to the Philippines and represent the Philippines as best as you can.’ That’s the biggest reason why I’m here,” said King, whose father’s name is Michael.
King’s promising college career was cut short after dislocating his left shoulder twice. He underwent surgery done by the same doctors who repaired Kobe Bryant's shoulder, that forced him to be out of the court for more than two years.
Upon his return to active playing, he suited up for California State University-East Bay before deciding to go to the Philippines.
“While I was playing at Long Beach State, a lot of the time, Philippine agents come watch me play and they would always message me and tell me to come to the Philippines and play. My mom and my grandmother really wanted me to play here,” he said.
King had an impressive showing in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup for the AMA University Titans after notching the league’s scoring record of 40 in a losing effort against Cagayan Valley.
“I was just really focused because it’s a playoff game. It’s win or go home. I was just focused and put my best foot forward. I got into a little zone and I just continued it,” said King.
If he gets picked in the PBA, King said teams can expect nothing less than a winning mentality on the court from him.
“They can expect a hardworker, leadership, and a winning attitude and a winning culture. I’m all about winning,” said King.
Still, King said he is not totally shutting the door on the NBA if the opportunity arises.
“Yes, definitely,” said King, when asked if he still have plans to pursue his NBA dream.