ZAK Adlee Gumaya is kinda small even by 'Small Basketeers' standards, but that hasn't stopped him from dreaming big in a supposedly big man's game.
Gumaya is a 10-year-old Grade Five student from Baguio City who at 124 centimeters, or justa shade over four feet, was the smallest player in the field in the BEST Center SBP-Passerelle Twin Tournament sponsored by Milo held last week in the country's summer capital.
Yet that hasn't stopped him from not only making the grade school team of Berkeley School Baguio but also competing against some of the best youngsters in the country, at times defending kids a full head taller than him.
“Very grateful po kasi bihira po ‘yung maliit na nakakasali,” said Gumaya.
Gumaya's first sport was football, but he had an interesting reason why he shifted to basketball — he wanted to travel.
“Before po kasi, nag-so-soccer ako. Ilang beses kami nananalo pero wala pa rin po ako napupuntahan. Tinry ko other sports at ’yung basketball, first year ko, nag-tryouts ako, hindi ako nakasama. I started working hard the following year, and then last year, napili na po ako. I started working hard even more,” Gumaya told Spin.ph.
The young cager said he tries to make up for his lack of height every time he plays.
“Energy lang po sa team,” said Gumaya, who idolizes Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Jay-Jay Helterbrand of Barangay Ginebra.
Berkeley School didn't go far in this year's tournament, but the young guard is already looking forward to the SBP-Passerelle Twin Tournament next year.
“More experience and more travelling po,” said Gumaya.
His ultimate dream?
Play in the NBA someday.