COMPARISONS are inevitable when you happen to be a son of a great basketball player.
But like any other father of an emerging basketball player, Norman Black would rather see his son Aaron not worry about his old man's legacy and instead find his own way as a player.
“I think he just has to travel his own road and shouldn’t be worried about what I did,” said the elder Black, a multi-titled coach who also won two Best Import awards and a Mr. 100 Percent honor during his playing career.
The Meralco coach only wants the best for his son, but at the same time wants young Aaron to make it on his own merits.
“Right now, he is in college so he has to prove that he is a good college player first, and hopefully, he would one day be in the PBA D-League, and then, see what happens from there.
“But right now, his focus should be what he can contribute to his team,” said the veteran coach.
Aaron so far is doing just that as he has become a crucial piece for the Ateneo Blue Eagles, although a fine start to his sophomore season has been derailed by a broken bone on his foot.
The elder Black said his main concern is not so much his play with the Blue Eagles but on how well the injury is healing.
“Actually, I’m just happy that Aaron is back on the court,” said Black, who watched his son for the first time this season after Meralco wrapped up its campaign in the PBA Finals against Ginebra.
“I don’t think very many people know the severity of his injury. He broke a bone in his foot and it was during the third game of the season. He is pretty much been out for a month now. When you have a broken bone in your foot, you can only do much,” said Black.
The doting father, who led Ateneo to five UAAP championships as coach, said he was saddened to see Aaron get injured at a time when he was finding his feet with the rejigged Blue Eagles.
“I was kinda disappointed when the injury came because it kinda set him back. He was starting to play really well and having an injury really set him back. Hopefully, he gets his stamina back,” said Norman, whose son once scored 23 points in one game this season.
Fortunately for Aaron, he is in good hands with Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin who has been easing him back into the rotation.
“I think he had five to six practices and Coach Tab is slowly getting him to the groove. Hopefully, if he gets that, he will be able to contribute to the team,” said Black.
Norman said he has not stopped giving pointers to Aaron on how he will approach the season after a serious injury, encouraging him to focus on what he can contribute to his team as he slowly gets his game back.
“What I’ve been telling him is it’s going to be a process because it’s a pretty serious injury that you broke a bone in your foot in the middle of the season. Let’s face it," Black said.
"Some of the players have been playing non-stop since the start of the conference. He is okay condition-wise, and he is catching up on what they do offensively and defensively. That’s going to be the key. At this point, what is important is what he can do to help the team win,” said Black.
No matter what happens from hereon, Black said he is proud of the player Aaron turned out to be.
“I’m proud of him. He is only 19 years old and has three years left in the UAAP so we are hoping continues to be stronger and develop,” said Norman.