Kobe Paras’ college crossroads
SACRAMENTO, California—And so Kobe Paras’ college basketball life in America—not so charmed of late—goes on next school year.
Paras bid adieu to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, after a forgettable freshman year that saw him play sparingly in 15 of 35 games, averaging just 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in only 4.7 minutes.
He landed at Creighton last July after withdrawing, reportedly due to academic issues, from UCLA, the college basketball behemoth that once eyed him as a hot prospect.
Paras was deemed a top college recruit as a junior at Cathedral High School and as a senior at Middlebrooks Academy in Los Angeles.
The polite Paras thanked Creighton management before heading out West.
“You welcomed me into your world, into your thoughts & made me a better person,” he said on his Twitter account.”
The 19-year-old son of PBA great Benjie Paras has committed verbally to play for California State University Northridge.
“Can’t wait to be back on the court playing,” he tweeted.
Not a power in NCAA Division I basketball, Cal State Northridge is not known for producing NBA stars either.
But it is coached by two-time league All-Star Reggie Theus who played for and coached the Sacramento Kings—the home team of this capital city.
Northridge is also not Santa Clara University, a school that was said to have expressed curiosity in the 6-foot-6 Paras.
Santa Clara is alma mater of future NBA Hall of Famers Steve Nash and Kurt Rambis.
Paras will now have to live up to his billing as a cage “wunderkind” for Northridge in the Big West Conference after one year of residency.
He will have to earn the rabid interest of NBA scouts scouring college hoops for prospects while working on a college diploma as a fallback.
The NBA Draft Combine before the June NBA draft is in progress at the Quest Center in Chicago.
The event is for invited-only top college hopefuls to show their wares, take medical tests, do drills etc. before NBA coaches, general managers and scouts.
An athlete’s performance there is said to affect draft status and salary, but Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors is urging invitees to skip it.
Durant said he drew snickers from strength coaches at the Combine in 2007 as a scrawny 6-9 shooter from the University of Texas because he couldn’t bench press 185 pounds.
But he’s been an NBA MVP, a seven-time All Star and one of the league’s megastars since.
Stay home and “get better at your own time,” he advised prospects.
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