ADD De La Salle-Zobel forward Kevin Garnett Raymundo to the list of second-generation players making heads turn in high school basketball.
The son of former PBA star Kerby Raymundo played for the Green Archers 14-under team which recently dominated the Milcu Got Skills Basketball tournament at the AMA Computer College in Quezon City.
KG is part of a promising batch of second-generation players making a name for themselves, joining the sons of cage greats Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino, Noli Locsin, and Gerry Esplana.
Like his dad, KG is a late bloomer in basketball.
“Four years kasing varsity player ng football si KG. Na-convince lang siya ni Kerby na mag-basketball four years ago,” said Kerby’s wife Christina.
“Pero si Kerby din naman noong araw, ilang taon na siya nung nahasa sa basketball. Late bloomer din siya. High school lang din siya nagsimula,” she recalled.
Although KG is still being used sparingly since he took up basketball seriously only in Game Five, La Salle head coach Rommel Felix sees a lot of potential in the young Raymundo and KG is naturally flattered.
“Walang pressure sa akin pero gusto kong mag-improve ng todo. And I am happy I have a Kerby Raymundo dad to mentor me. Tinutulungan niya ko at gina-guide niya ko pagdating sa basketball,” he said.
“I am optimistic na ma-a-achieve ko rin ang narating ng daddy ko,” the second-year high school student added.
With KG just beginning to spread his wings, Kerby is not putting a lot of pressure on his son to reach the same heights he achieved in an accomplished, 11-year pro career.
“Hindi naman kami nag-e-expect kung ano sa kanya. Basta he’ll just do his best na magawa ng tama ang laro niya. Siyempre, hoping kami na gumanda pa ang laro niya at ma-achieve ang mga na-achieve ni Kerby,” Mrs Raymundo said.
“Pero hinahawakan talaga ni Kerby 'yan, talagang tinututukan talaga,” Christina added.
The young Raymundo hopes stints in organized basketball leagues like the Milcu Got Skills Challenge will hasten his development.
“Buti nga po may mga liga na ganito. At least mas nahahasa kami, mas natututo kami at mas nagkakaroon kami agad ng experience,” he said while hoisting the championship trophy La Salle won over Chang Kai Shek in the finals, 68-48.
Milcu Philippines vice president Paul Cusi bared supporting grassroots basketball is one of the corporate social responsibilities of their company to further uplift the level of play in the country.
“We are supporting Got Skills basketball so we can help provide confidence for young adults. We had a pretty good turnout. We encourage youth development through basketball, same way we promote our brands of Gugo Shampoo, sports deodorant, and foot powder, among others,” said Cusi.
“Definitely, it helps the kids develop the necessary skills to progress in sports,” he added.