XAVIER School big man Isaac Go has committed to play for Ateneo in the UAAP, but stressed the decision was not based purely on basketball.
The many-time national youth team player said he decided to go to Ateneo not for the prestige that comes with playing for the multi-titled Blue Eagles, but to pursue a college degree.
“I want to continue my education after Xavier,” was Go’s quick reply when asked by Spin.ph on why he chose Ateneo over other schools.
They Said It!
“I want to continue my education after Xavier... I want a Math or Science-related course." Xavier big man and honor student Isaac Go who has committed to play for Ateneo
The 6-foot-6 Go is so serious about academics that he applied for a Bachelor of Science in Management of Applied Chemistry course, which is offered by the John Gokongwei School of Management in Ateneo.
The 17-year-old Go has already passed the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) for the said program.
“I want a Math or Science-related course. But I didn’t want to get quota courses so that (Applied Chemistry) seemed to be a good course,” said Go, who denied being an honor student at Xavier.
“Tama lang,” said Go smiling.
Go joins now Rain or Shine cager Chris Tiu in the list of standouts from Xavier's successful basketball program who eventually made the move to Ateneo for college.
Incidentally, Tiu also made a mark outside the court by earning a degree in Management Engineering. He was recently named among The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award last year.
Go’s determination to pursue a college education is uncommon among today’s young players, most of whom uses the college leagues as springboard for a career in the professional cage leagues.
Only a small percentage of varsity players end up earning their degrees.
However, Go made it clear he also wants to shine as a player following his stints with the national youth team coached by Olsen Racela and backed by Energen a few years back.
Ateneo’s successful basketball program, which has produced a long line of quality big men, was also a major consideration in his decision to go to Ateneo, the big man said.
“Ateneo has a lot of good big men like Nico Salva, Greg Slaughter, and Rabeh Al-Hussaini. I believe that if I work hard, I can actually be better than them,” said Go, who already attended Ateneo practices and tune-up games even after he officially expressed commitment to join the Blue Eagles last Saturday.
Go should have a good chance of landing a spot in the Blue Eagles' roster, which is in need of big men following the departure at the end of last season by JP Erram and Frank Golla.
Go stood out as one of the premier rebounders in the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA). He was also selected to play in the Seaoil NBTC High School All-Star Game which featured the top junior players in the country.
Asked about his chances of making the Ateneo team for the UAAP, Go said, “I don’t want to put it that way. As long as I continue to work hard and improve, then I can make the team.”
“Ateneo’s winning program will help me get better,” he added.
Still, Go stressed academics comes first.
“Sa Xavier kasi, academics first so I hope to bring that to Ateneo,” said Go.