Metta World Peace says Fil-Am son gets PH passport, hopes to play for Gilas
For Metta World Peace, having his Fil-American son Jeron Artest don the Philippine colors will be one of his biggest achievements considering that he has never been called up for national team duty.
“I was never invited to play to the Olympics. They said that they don’t need a player like myself for the team. That was tough for me because I wanted to play in the Olympics. So anytime your kid gets a chance to play for the national team, I do feel like it’s special. To play for the national team is really something different,” he said on Sunday.
The former Lakers star, who is in town thanks to the efforts of SnippetMedia, shared that his son is working on his game in hopes of one day getting a nod to join Gilas Pilipinas, even going to as far as applying for a Philippine passport before he turned 16.
“My son has been coming over to the Philippines and he’s very motivated. He’s working very hard. He’s going to be a senior next year. He’s very good academically and he got an offer from Yale and a lot of Ivy League schools. He can also play in Division I college also so he’s a very smart kid,” the NBA legend said.
The younger Artest, who is a 6-foot-1 guard, is currently studying at Beverly Hills High School in California and is about to graduate in 2018.
But World Peace knows that his son’s path to the national team—or any team for that matter—won’t be easy just because he’s the son of the former Ron Artest.
“I told him it doesn’t mean that you’re my son is that you can play basketball in America, or you can play anywhere in the world and you’ll get to the team. You have to earn it,” he said. “And he’s working really hard. I’m so proud of him and I hope it all works out. He definitely wants to be on the team.”
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