Fatherhood over basketball, show biz for Benjie Paras
Video by Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net
He was a basketball phenomenon in his own right, and had his fair share of the limelight in show business. But for PBA legend and actor Benjie Paras, being a father tops all other roles he has ever played—whether in the court or on screen.
Despite his beefed up schedule back then, juggling sports and entertainment as careers, Benjie said he did not have a difficult time looking after his two sons Kobe and Andre, as they used to join him in practices and tapings.
It is a case of “like father, like sons” as the high-flying Kobe makes waves in the US basketball scene while Andre pursues acting. But Benjie said he did not force the interests in them.
“Actually si Andre naman nag-start ‘yan player naman talaga sila pareho eh. Naglaro sila sa La Salle nung high school. And then noong grumaduate si Andre, nagpuntang UP tapos lumipat sa San Beda tapos doon na siya nag-start mag-focus sa show biz,” Paras shared in an interview with reporters. “And then si Kobe naman during his second year, kumbaga he was asked to play for the Cathedrals nga in the States and so we took that opportunity at pinadala ko doon, so ’yung time ko is hindi naman ganoon kahirap.”
The young sensation Kobe, who recently defended his FIBA 3×3 slam dunk crown, may be very busy amid all the achievement and attention he had been reaping, but Benjie said he never lost in touch with his son.
“We talk every day through the help of Internet. Nasasabi niya ‘yung mga kailangan niya, ‘yung mga nangyayari sa kanya and kung ano man ‘yung matutulong ko through advice na ibibigay ko,” he said.
Benjie said he was proud of Kobe for being able to represent the country at a very young age of 17, noting that he himself joined the national basketball team when he was already in college.
“I am really happy na nagawa niya ’yun kasi wala naman akong natulong. Sinasabi na ako raw ang nagturo, hindi eh. Siya lang ’yun eh,” he said.
But in the middle of success, Benjie has a piece of advice for his UCLA-commit son: “[I told him] to count his blessings because everyone will really trade for his position, and for him to make the most out of it. So nandoon na siya, he should work hard, not only work hard but work harder each day and for him to learn more skills in preparation for college.”
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