Nike Rise: Search for next Filipino basketball star from streets
The next Filipino basketball star could be that kid playing in a makeshift court in the streets wearing flip-flops.
The next Jimmy Alapag could be anywhere in this basketball-crazy country and could be left undiscovered.
With Nike’s Rise Basketball Campaign in the Philippines, the first-ever reality documentary basketball program, it will make sure that the talent in young and aspiring Filipinos won’t be put to waste.
The search will be made in five different cities all over the country—Dagupan, Manila, Cebu and Davao—from where 24 Filipinos, male or female aged 16-21 years old, will be picked.
“Twenty-four will be chosen based on skill, talent, hunger and desire to excel,” said Patrick Reyes, country marketing manager of Nike Philippines, during the Philippine launch of Rise at Green Sun Hotel in Makati.
The chosen 24 players will live inside the “House of Rise” for six weeks, according to Reyes. Over the course of that span, the players will be observed and tracked while showcasing their abilities and also their attitude on and off the court.
The athletes will also have access to the latest Nike equipment and apparel.
No less than former National team head coach Chot Reyes and PBA legend Jimmy Alapag will oversee the whole process.
“For me coaching is more than a livelihood, coaching is a calling and an advocacy. It’s a way for me to do something for my country,” said Reyes, who steered the country to a silver medal in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship and a slot in the 2014 Fiba World Cup. “Being involved in Rise is part of my advocacy to be able to give back to the others and the street kids.”
“The best players are not necessarily the most skilled players. But the best players are those who have something in them and that’s where the puso (heart) comes from. And that’s what were looking for. We’re looking for kids who have something special in them. The magic factor which will set them apart. We’re going to build a team and they should have that innate ability to work with others and be great teammates,” he added.
Alapag, whose own rise to prominence has been well-documented throughout his celebrated basketball career, stressed the importance of providing such opportunity to the unfortunate and having their potential realized and dreams lived.
“Hopefully I can teach these kids my experience and wisdom throughout the years. This rise program is really a great opportunity for these kids. To be involved in this, and really work with these kids, it’s really exciting and Im looking forward to it,” said Alapag, who considers his best years as a basketball player are the moments he spent suiting up for the National team.
“It’s really an incredible opportunity for them. It really gives them a chance to showcase their ability and know that even if they’re as far as the provinces, we’ll come find you,” Alapag added.
The journey of the selected Rise players will be shown on TV5 in a five-part reality documentary airing every Sunday starting next month. CFC
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