Benjie Paras with son Kobe
Like father, like son
WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Last weekend marked two big events for the men in our households — the NBA finals and Father’s Day.

To celebrate, we’re counting down some of the greatest father-and-son tandems in the sport. It was as if the road to professional basketball was predestined for the sons of some of these legends.

Years ago, I wrote about how sports strengthens the bond between father and son, which is why it’s no wonder these boys followed the footsteps of their dads in the big leagues.

Dell Curry, who was part of the Charlotte Hornets, shot above 40 percent over his 16-year career. He was the team’s highest scorer upon retirement and won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 1994. While he warmed up for his games, you could notice a young Steph Curry copying his dad from the sidelines.

Dell’s sons Stephen and Seth Curry are 2 1/2 years apart. They both love basketball and have decorated college careers but had very different journeys in the NBA.

Steph is arguably the greatest shooter in the NBA. He was the first-round pick of the Warriors in 2009. He has four out of the top 10 records made in a season, and is a two-time Finals MVP leading the Golden State Warriors from the bottom of the league all the way to the NBA Championships.

Seth, on the other hand, went undrafted out of Duke in 2013 and established himself as a rotation player for the Mavericks two seasons ago. He sat out the last season with a fracture and became Damien Lillard’s primary backup with the Portland Trailblazers.

The two brothers make up basketball’s hottest one-on-one rivalries. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Seth Curry of the Portland Trailblazers faced off in the NBA conference championship series.

Dell Curry (center) with sons Steph and Seth (Photo from www.sporting news.com)

Mychal Thompson was the NBA first overall draft pick back in 1978. He spent eight seasons with the Portland Trailblazers then went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in their heyday. He won two NBA championship rings playing with the Lakers.

Klay Thompson, is one-half of the Golden State Warriors’ “Splash Brothers,” one of the best shooting duos of all time. He is a key player in the team’s offense and has played a big part of the team’s championship dynasty. 

After 18 incredible seasons in the NBA, Tony Parker is retiring from the league. His impact on the game is undeniable. He is considered by many as the greatest point guard of all time and the greatest European-born guard to ever play the game. He was a six-time All-Star, named to the All-NBA second team three times and was Finals MVP in 2007.

His father, Tony Sr., played for Loyola University in the ’70s before moving to Europe where he played pro ball for 15 years. He claims he never forced any of his three sons to play basketball growing up and it wasn’t until Tony saw Michael Jordan play that he finally chose basketball over football.

As Tony Jr.’s career winds down, his father is extremely proud of his son who played in  the Olympics, played over a hundred games with the national team, and had an incredible run in the NBA as part of the San Antonio Spurs.

Benjie Paras, dubbed as the “Tower of Power” during his legendary basketball career, was chosen as the first overall pick by the Formula Shell Zoom Masters back in 1989. He was named Rookie of the Year and really cemented his mythical status as he was also named MVP, a feat that has yet to be repeated.

His son Kobe inherited his athleticism and love for the game. Kobe played for the Philippine 3x3 basketball team and made his mark in high school basketball in the US. He played his freshman year for the Creighton Bluejays and is now serving his residency to play with the UP Fighting Maroons beginning UAAP Season 82.

Norman Black has a decorated basketball resume in the US and the Philippines. He has played in the CBA, NBA and PBA. Known as Mr. 100 %, he has coached for various teams including the Ateneo Blue Eagles, which he led to multiple UAAP Championships; the San Miguel Beermen; Mobiline Phone Pals; Pop Cola 800s; Sta. Lucia Realtors; and Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters. He is currently the head coach of the Meralco Bolts.

His son Aaron Black is a 6’1” combo guard who played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles, which his father used to coach. He was part of Ateneo’s back-to-back championship during UAAP Season 80 and 81. However. he opted not to play for his final eligible year to pursue other endeavors.

Mychal Thompson and Klay (Photo from Sports Gossip)

Known as “The Raven” during his playing years, Bong Ravena was drafted fifth overall by San Miguel Beer in the 1992 PBA Draft. He was named Rookie of the Year by the end of his first season. He is currently the head coach of the PBA team TNT Ka Tropa.

His two sons, Kiefer and Thirday, have also made names for themselves in basketball, writing their own legacy in the sport.

Kiefer, known as The Phenom, was a two-time collegiate champion, two-time MVP, three-time Mythical Five member, Rookie of the Year, two-time scoring leader and two-time assists leader with the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

He has won gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games as part of the Gilas Cadets. He made his mark as a rookie sensation for the NLEX Road Warriors, averaging 17.2 points, four rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, which are amazing for a rookie.

Younger brother Thirdy displayed arguably the greatest finals performance in UAAP Season 81 with 29.5 points, eight rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Thirdy is a two-time champion, two-time Mythical Five member and two-time Finals MVP.

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Post me a note at mylene@goldsgym.com.ph or mylenedayrit@gmail.com.

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