THEY'RE more than mere numbers, and there's more to them than meets the eye.
From important dates in their lives to lucky numbers to a happy coincidence, there's usually a compelling story behind the numbers your favorite players wear on their backs.
And more often that not, these stories will either surprise you or make you feel closer to your sports heroes.
Here's No. 21 of our Jersey Story Series:
WHILE most boys wear jersey numbers to mark anniversaries or birthdays, Meralco rookie Jonathan Grey dons No. 14 because of the most important woman in his life.
The former College of St. Benilde star, who immediately won the hearts of female fans in the PBA not only because of his skills but also because of his good looks, wore No. 6 for most of his early years but had to give way to Blazers star Carlo Lastimosa when he joined CSB in 2011.
"Buong high school, No. 6 ako, pero kasi pagpasok ko ng Benilde andoon si Carlo Lastimosa eh, No. 6 siya so nag-isip ako ng bagong number," said the flamboyant forward, recalling his days with Colegio San Agustin in Laguna.
Picking a new jersey number was a no brainer for the high-scoring guard.
"Mama’s boy ako eh," he revealed. "Eh ang birthday ng mommy ko, July 14 so 'yun ang pinili kong jersey number."
That's his way of showing Mommy Lina, 65, how proud he is to be a mama's boy.
But the doting mother to two boys and two girls hardly watches Grey play live since she gets a little overexcited during her son's games.
"Ah oo, syempre (kainakabahan siya) kaya doon na lang siya sa TV para 'di masyadong nakaka-pressure," Grey said.