Fil-Am hopeful Jawhar Purdy puts best foot forward ahead of PBA rookie draft
Rookie hopeful Jawhar Purdy believes he can be a sleeper pick. Jerome Ascano

JAWHAR Purdy is not waiting for the PBA Draft Combine to show that he’s ready for the pros.

The Filipino-American combo guard, one of 16 Fil-foreigners who applied for the draft, believes teams would have made their decision on who to pick even before the two-day pre-draft camp starting next Wednesday.

“It’s just a formality,” Purdy said.

That’s why instead of going home for a vacation, like some of the Fil-foreigners who declared for the August 23 draft have done, the Jumbo Plastic standout has stayed in the country after the D-League Foundation Cup to continue his development.

“I just wanted to make sure that I showed my dedication and kept working hard,” the Los Angeles native said in a chat with on Wednesday after a private plyometric workout.

Purdy has already worked out with Talk ‘N Text and Mahindra (formerly KIA) for one week each and is scheduled to train with Rain or Shine on Monday and GlobalPort next.

“I’m just making my rounds, trying to make my dream a reality,” the Cal State Stanislaus University product said. “Before the draft, I would like to be seen by at least five or six teams.”

[See Jawhar Purdy earns his spurs in bush league]

Purdy has impressed with his all-around prowess — setting up teammates, knocking down open shots, and creating off the dribble, and playing defense — in his two-conference stint in the D-League as well as bush league DeLeague.

Asked which player he patterns his game after, Purdy, who last year was described as a “young Jayjay Helterbrand,” had a quick answer: Chris Paul.

“He’s arguably the best point guard in the game,” the 5-foot-11, 176-pound cager said of the Los Angeles Clippers point guard. “I wouldn’t say I play like him, but that’s who I try to play like just because he’s all-around.”

Purdy has gotten less exposure and spotlight compared to celebrated rookie hopefuls, including Moala Tautuaa, in the 64-man list.

That, however, won’t stop the 23-year-old playmaker from proving his worth to teams that are looking at prospects in the late first round and early second round.

“It’s a pretty deep class,” Purdy said. “But I feel like I can definitely be a sleeper (pick). I see myself being able to make an impact in the PBA.”

Once he does realize his dream, Purdy promises to buy his single mom, Fatima, currently a freelancer in the child care services in LA, a home in his native Toril, Davao.


“Life is tough in the US, it’s expensive there,” Purdy said. “So one of the first things I want to do is make an investment to move my mom back out here.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos