AS he tries his luck overseas for the second time around, Kobe Paras talked candidly on social media about the pressure he's been feeling from a very young age.
"Ever since I was 14, I was pressured by people who don't even know me to be someone I'm not? People who don't even know me gave me so much expectations for no reason," he said in the comments section of Hoopjunkie's Instagram post.
The popular basketball account post featured a videoclip of Paras playing alongside Lonzo Ball way back six years ago in an Adidas Nations 2015 game. He was only 18 at that time.
"Crazy what people say can affect a kid," he continued. "Imagine being depressed at 20 because every time you mess up, you think you let your country down."
The 23-year-old son of two-time PBA MVP Benjie Paras first tried his luck in the States when he suited up for UCLA, Creighton, and Cal State Northridge.
He, however, had a monotonous stint, and he returned to the Philippines.
When he came back, he joined the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP. Paras led the team with 16.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals in a single season, which earned him a spot in the Mythical Team.
This run with the Diliman-based squad was cut short by the pandemic. But Kobe's not wasting his time.
A year after, while college sports is still uncertain in the PH, Ohio-based group East West Private (EWP), the same handlers of Kai Sotto, announced their acquisition of Paras early on Tuesday.
Could this be the 6-foot-6 high-flyer's redemption tour in the States.
Speaking from experience, he voiced out a friendly reminder: "At the end of the day, I'm just a human being like all of y'all. If you got nothing nice to say, keep it to yourself."