Kobe Paras announces decision to turn pro

Kobe Paras with former CSUN Matadors head coach Reggie Theus during a press conference in May 2017.

File Photo

Kobe Paras announces decision to turn pro

Denison Rey A. Dalupang (Philstar.com) - March 9, 2018 - 12:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — We won’t be seeing Kobe Paras in the US NCAA after all.

The young cager has decided take his talents to the next level after a falling out between Cal State Northridge’s Athletic Department and former coach Reggie Theus along with director Brandon Martin.

Paras, who was serving his red-shirt year with the Matadors, made the announcement on Friday (Manila time) via a Twitter posting. Attached in the entry is a video clip featuring his highlight plays from high school through his stint with various Philippine teams.


“The decision has set the stage for Kobe Paras to test the water and as of today, has decided to enter the professional world of basketball,” read a statement from the Middlebrooks Academy.

In the same statement, Kobe’s father and Philippine Basketball Association legend Benjie Paras said he supports his son’s decision to turn professional.

“My son is taking one of the hardest steps in his journey to date and embracing full manhood,” Benjie said. “He has fought through continuous adversity at the collegiate level and now he is continuing to challenge himself with this decision.”

The younger Paras’ former mentor William Middlebrooks, rounded out the statement: “The decision to go pro is the easier part in all this. The real work starts now.”

Paras, a 6-foot-6 forward, will turn 21 this year. He attended La Salle Greenhills prior to joining Cathedral High School where he started generating buzz to his name. He then went to Middlebrooks for his senior year, where he was rated as a three-star prospect by various scouting bodies.

In October 2015, Paras formalized his intent to play for Steve Alford and the UCLA — where NBA current superstars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Lobe went to college.  But academic requirements hindered
Paras from donning the Bruins jersey. He then moved to join Creighton for which he played in 15 games in the NCAA.

Midway in 2017, shortly after multiple stints with various Philippine national teams, Paras—also through Twitter — bared that he has committed to play for the Matadors and is bracing to go through redshirt year to comply with the NCAA’s eligibility rules.

Paras’ most noteworthy accolades include a gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games and two FIBA 3x3 Under-18 Slam Dunk titles. He is also part of Gilas Pilipinas 23-man pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup slated here.

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