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    NBA players and their dads who played as imports in the PBA

    Jun 20, 2021

    THERE'S still a lot of uncertainty if whether imports will be back in the PBA this season or not. If not that would be a pity for the local pro league, which has seen more than its share of amazing imports in its 46 years.

    You already know super imports like Bobby Parks and Norman Black, who didn't just reach legendary status in Philippine basketball but also sired sons who would later thrive in the pro league as well.

    But it's not limited to those who settled in the Philippines and married Filipina wives as there are more imports who had children who not only followed in their footsteps - but also became very, very good at it.

    Spin.ph lists three of them.


    Mitchell Wiggins was a 6-foot-4 swingman who was the 23rd pick in the 1983 NBA Draft. He already had six NBA seasons under his belt playing for the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers before he got to the Philippines in 1994.

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    He replaced Darrin Mayo for Tondena 65, coming in three games into the 1994 Commissioner's Cup and debuted with a sensational 62 point performance. Unfortunately, the Rhum Masters lost that game, 108-106 to Swift.

    It was an unfortunate run for Wiggins, who teamed up with Robert Jaworski, Pido Jarencio, Benny Cheng, Joey Loyzaga, and top rookie Noli Locsin for Tondena, that his high scoring outbursts fell flat as Tondena 65 failed to advance to the playoffs on a 5-6 record.

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    He did leave his mark in the league, once firing 78 points in the Rhum Masters' 150-148 overtime win over Sta. Lucia.

    Mitchell Wiggins, of course, is the father of Golden State Warriors' Andrew Wiggins, who was the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-7 Canadian guard was Rookie of the Year and no doubt a legit NBA star.

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    Mitchell's eldest Mitchell Jr. played for Southeastern University in Florida, while his middle son Nick played for Cerrado Basquete in Brazil.

    Wesley Matthews, Jr

    Even before Wes Matthews got here, his reputation already preceded him after winning two NBA crowns with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    And in 1991, the 6-foot-1 slasher tried to recapture his winning ways for Ginebra in that year's Third Conference, joining forces with Jaworski, Philip Cezar, Rey Cuenco, Dante Gonzalgo, Chito Loyzaga, and Dondon Ampalayo.

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    Matthews was a joy to watch, his most memorable moment being his 35-foot game-winner that lifted Ginebra over Pepsi, 123-120 in the second round of the semifinals, a crucial win that allowed the Gin Kings to move on to the Finals.

    Unfortunately, Alaska got the better of Ginebra in the championship round, winning three games to one, as Matthews could only secure a runner-up finish in his lone stint here.

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    Decades later, it's Wes Sr.'s son, Wesley Jr. who is making a name for himself in the NBA.

    Going undrafted in 2009, he found a way to get in the league and has enjoyed a 12-year career in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and now, with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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    Jalen Brunson

    Rick Brunson already played for the Portland Trail Blazers for a season before he joined the Gins in the 1998 Governors' Cup, although his foray into Philippine basketball was both brief and forgettable.

    He teamed up with ex-Philadelphia 76er Kenny Payne in a last ditch effort to make it to the semifinals. Brunson fired 21 points in his lone game to compliment Payne's 37 points, but their efforts weren't enough as Ginebra suffered a 107-97 defeat to Formula Shell, ending the eliminations with a 7-8 record and a sixth place finish.

    Along the way, there was also talk that Brunson didn't see eye to eye with Ginebra playing-coach Robert Jaworski.


    Rick did make it back to the NBA and had stints with the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle SuperSonics, and Houston Rockets until his retirement in 2006.

    He is also the father of Jalen Brunson, who is enjoying a solid career as a back-up guard for the Dallas Mavericks after an impressive college stint at Villanova.

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      Actually, there are more sons of former PBA imports who made a name for themselves worldwide. Here are some of them.

      Michael Young

      Young had previous NBA experience suiting up for the Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers before he landed in the Philippines in the mid-1980s.

      His first stint was with the Manila Beer in the 1986 Open Conference where he teamed up with Atoy Co, Lim Eng Beng, and Yoyoy Villamin, and also won the Best Import award.

      Together with fellow reinforcement Harold Keeling, they steered the Brewmasters to the Finals but lost to the Billy Ray Bates and Michael Hackett-led Ginebra in five games.

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      Young returned a year later, this time for Great Taste in the 1987 Open Conference, and linked up with Allan Caidic, Ricardo Brown, Abe King, and veterans Co, Cezar, and Bernie Fabiosa.

      Their high-scoring ways propelled the Coffee Makers to the Finals, but once again drew the short end of the stick, falling to Tanduay, led by David Thirdkill, in five games in the best-of-seven series.

      Young did make a brief comeback to the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1989-90 season before retiring in 1996.

      He is the father of Joe Young, a second-round selection in the 2015 NBA Draft who spent three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He now plays for the Beijing Royal Fighters in China.

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      Francois Wise

      Wise built a solid resume as an import here in the Philippines back in the 1980s, earning him five callups in the PBA from U-Tex, Tanduay, Manila Beer, and Hills Bros.

      The 6-foot-6 forward who has established himself as a ferocious low-post banger and ruthless rebounding demon also had his high-scoring moments, once going for 74 points in the 1983 Open Conference during his stop with the Rhum Makers.

      But the closest Wise got to the cup was in his run with Manila Beer, making it to the 1985 Reinforced Conference Finals together with Co, Villamin, Abet Guidaben, and Ed Cordero where they were swept by the Ron Jacobs-mentored Northern Cement squad.

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      Still, he made his mark in the league after averaging 36.7 points, 15 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.1 steals, ranking No. 6 among imports in all-time scoring with 4,332 points behind only Black, Parks, Sean Chambers, Lew Massey, and Bates, as well as No. 7 in all-time rebounds with 1,769 boards after Black, Parks, Chambers, Byron "Snake" Jones, Billy Robinson, and Andrew Fields.

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      Nearly three decades later, Francois' son Eric played as an import for Barako Bull in the 2014 Governors' Cup. Unlike his dad, though, he only lasted six games and went 1-5 before the Energy replaced him with Allen Durham.

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      Tony Washam

      Washam played for Gilbey's Gin in the 1984 and linked up with the likes of Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, Steve Watson, Terry Saldana, and Willie Generalao, with their cumulative records in the first two all-Filipino conferences qualifying them for the Invitational Championship.

      The Gin Tonics, however, struggled in the five-team tourney and could only muster a 2-6 win-loss record, good for fourth place.

      That still qualified Gilbey's Gin for the battle for third, but they fell to Butch Hays and Beer Hausen in four games despite multiple 40-point games from Washam.

      In 2010, it was his son Tony Jr.'s turn to play in the PBA, coming in as a late replacement for Derby Ace.

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      The younger Washam, who replaced Cliff Brown, turned heads in his first two games, helping the James Yap-led Llamados past Rain or Shine in a gritty five-game series against Rain or Shine.

      But Derby Ace ran straight to a wall against the two-seed San Miguel in the semis, losing in six games.

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      Walker Russell

      Russell is a former NBA player with the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, and Indiana Pacers before he found his way to the Philippines in the late-1980s.

      A 6-foot-5 scorer, he joined Presto in the 1989 Open Conference and played with Caidic, King, Padim Israel, and Manny Victorino as the Tivolis made it as far as the semis, but got swept by Alaska in three games in the third-place playoff.

      Russell returned the following year, this time with Purefoods as he was paired with Daren Queenan in the 1990 Third Conference.

      Unfortunately, his run only lasted eight games as the Hotdogs sent him home for Robert Rose. The move paid dividends as Purefoods, led by Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa, and Nelson Asaytono, won the franchise's first title over Alaska.

      Russell's son Walker Jr. also played basketball, going undrafted in 2006 before working his way to the Detroit Pistons' lineup in 2012. He spent time in the then-NBA D-League with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Reno Bighorns, and Westchester Knicks, and last played for Vaqueros de Bayamon in Puerto Rico in 2016.

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      Derrick Chievous

      Chievous was a legit NBA player, picked 16th overall in the 1988 NBA Draft and spent three seasons between the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

      San Miguel snagged him in 1992 for the First Conference, where he teamed up with Ramon Fernandez, Ato Agustin, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Yves Dignadice, and top rookie Bong Ravena as the Beermen went 7-4 in the eliminations to qualify for the semis.

      However, just before the start of the semis and after a spat with some of his peers, Chievous was sent home and was replaced by Rick Calloway. San Miguel bested Alaska in the playoff for a finals berth, but fell to Formula Shell in five games.

      Chievous' son Quinton also played ball but went undrafted in 2016, but still played for the Iowa Wolves, Santa Cruz Warriors, Capital City Go-Go, and Erie Bayhawks in the NBA G-League.

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      Dell Demps

      Basketball fans now know Demps as a former general manager for the New Orleans Pelicans. But back when he was playing, he was a solid reinforcement who had two stints in the PBA.

      Demps first played for 7-Up in the 1992 Third Conference, replacing Melvin Newbern three games into the conference and changed the tides for the Uncolas, who were then learning on Guidaben, Victorino, and Leo Austria. They got as far as the finals.

      However, 7-Up was no match to Swift, which had Asaytono and super import Tony Harris, as the Mighty Meaty Hotdogs swept the series, 4-0.

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      Shell brought Demps back in the 1994 Governors' Cup to replace second-choice import Carl Ray Harris, but he only lasted two games before going back to the US. The Rimula X had two more import swaps before settling for Mike Morrison, who got them into the semis but only wound up with a sixth-place finish.

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      Demps' son Tre is an international journeyman in his own right, playing in Belgium, Greece, and Italy after going undrafted in 2016.


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