AARON Black is no stranger to pressure, having lived with it all his life as the son of Philippine basketball legend Norman Black.
But instead of letting it hinder his young basketball career, the young Black said inevitable comparisons with his father only served as motivation for him to play better on the court.
“That pressure has been there all my life,” said Black, 18. “I was born with the name. I guess at this point, the thing I have to do is make it a positive thing.”
Black had a memorable debut as a collegiate player, scoring 11 points behind a perfect 3-of-3 clip from three-point range to spark the breakaway that led to an 84-60 win over Adamson on Saturday.
“Naalala niyang half-Norman Black siya,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol about Aaron’s play against Adamson.
Black, who didn’t make last year’s lineup, said being the son of a legend who also happened to be the same coach who led Ateneo to five straight UAAP titles in the 2000s makes him work hard every day to live up to the name.
“It helps me to drive me to work hard and play hard so that I could live up to the things he has done," said the Blue Eagles guard. "He has done a lot."
Despite being in the US for training camp with PBA ballclub Meralco, the elder Black still had some words of advice for his son the night before the Blue Eagles faced the Falcons on Saturday.
“Halfway around the world, he called me last night. He told me to be ready. If I’m pulled out by coach, just bring out the energy, defense, and let the scoring come to me.”
That was exactly what Aaron did, scoring five early points in the first quarter before adding six in the third period in his first UAAP game in the blue and white.
Black said his contributions off the bench will go a long way for the Blue Eagles this season after Kiefer Ravena had to carry much of the load in their loss to Far Eastern University on opening weekend.
“We really built our confidence today. We have to help out the starting five especially after our last game. It will be harder for the teams to defend us. We will be hard to scout because you don’t know who will play well,” said Black.