NBA
Eligibility issue keeps Kobe Paras from playing final yr with Phantoms
Alder Almo (philstar.com) - August 28, 2015 - 7:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -- Kobe Paras will skip his final season with the Los Angeles Cathedral High School Phantoms and instead play for the Middlebrooks Academy. 

Paras, who is a senior at LA Cathedral High, is only allowed to play until the first semester of this year. This pushed him and his family to decide to just play for his coach William Middlebrooks' prep basketball team, which is not being governed by the California Interscholastic Federation. 

"Due to the difference in academic calendars between the United States and the Philippines, Kobe would exhaust his 8 semesters of eligibility at the end of the 1st semester this year. His family made the decision not to have him play for Cathedral for only half a basketball season," said the Middlebrooks Academy in a press release emailed to Philstar.com on Friday. 

Former PBA Rookie-MVP Benjie Paras, Kobe's father, further explained it in detail. 

"Umulit kasi si Kobe ng 3rd year high school.  He finished half a year here and then continued it in Cathedral but his credentials were insufficient so he repeated 3rd year, dapat 4th year niya na 'yun so technically, he has finished 7 semesters in high school already, therefore, one semester na lang ang malalaro niya ngayon," said the elder Paras. 

Paras, who attended La Salle Greenhills here, went to the US in the middle of the 2013-14 school year. 

The decision to play for Middlebrooks Academy will keep Kobe still on the radar of UCLA, which recruited him to play in the US NCAA Division I next season. Paras went to Twitter to thank Middlebrooks for looking after him and his US basketball career. 

Paras had a great summer playing for the Compton Magic as well as participating in the Adidas Gauntlet, Adidas All-American Camp, Adidas Nations Global Camp and the Nike Rise All-Star game where he went head to head against his NBA idol LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 6-foot-6 Paras averaged 15 points, 4.3 rebounds, one assist and 2.5 steals for the Phantoms last season. 

The UCLA-bound Paras also had a good academic year at LA Cathedral where he earned a 4.0 average this past semester and recently received an award for his outstanding work in the area of Physics. He will still finish his high school at LA Cathedral High, which started its classes last Monday. 

For more information on Middlebrooks Academy visit www.middlebrooksacademy.com. 

ADIDAS ALL-AMERICAN CAMP ADIDAS GAUNTLET ADIDAS NATIONS GLOBAL CAMP AND THE NIKE RISE ALL-STAR CATHEDRAL HIGH KOBE MIDDLEBROOKS MIDDLEBROOKS ACADEMY NBSP PARAS QUOT YEAR
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