Thompson wants father to retire if he makes a career in PBA
There were a dozen young men running around a parquet floor, one man barking orders and another older man sitting like a king looking at knights to fight for his kingdom.
It was a few strokes after six am, early enough everyone to eat breakfast and watch the morning news.
These 14 people were not everyone. They were the University of Perpetual Help Altas.
Training starts at six and ends at nine in the morning, right around the time everyone starts work.
Head coach Aric del Rosario sat in a chair monitoring everything while assistant coach Lester, his son, did the shouting.
It was still half an hour before the end of practice and the reigning NCAA MVP was chilling by himself in one corner of Gym 1 of University of Perpetual Help.
Scottie Thompson was minding his own business while meddling with his phone, his full six feet of a person sprawled atop a rubber mat.
At the end of the 91st season of the NCAA, Thompson could be drafted into the PBA but the national team member doesn’t think of the pros that much.
He’s not even sure if he would be drafted.
“I can’t say I’m ready, I think there’s a very small chance of getting drafted. Nothing is certain,” Thompson said, putting down his phone. “We don’t know what the team wants, what players the coaches like. There are so many outstanding players out there.”
“I’m just taking a crack at it.”
Thompson’s stellar play in season 90 got him a spot in the Gilas Cadets which won the gold medal in the basketball tournament of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
With fellow youngsters surrounding him, the Digos City native took the opportunity to heed some advice from national teammates.
“I asked my teammates in Gilas and they told me ‘yes, you’re ready for it,’” Thompson said. “I asked my agent, my coaches, they all gave me their support.”
Thompson may have decided on going pro, but two people who are dear to him still don’t have an idea when the Altas’ main man would go to the PBA.
“They still don’t know yet. They know I’m joining the PBA Draft, but they don’t know when,” Thompson said looking at his teammates as they did some drills. “They would be surprised as the draft is this August.”
Despite his self-confessed “small chance” in the draft, Thompson hopes one person could see him live when he has the opportunity to play in the PBA.
His “inspiration” of a father.
“My dad was once a player in the commercial leagues in Davao del Sur, he was well-known too,” Thompson said. “He was my influence, however, he did not continue to play as he wanted to work as a seaman.”
Thompson said growing up with a locally-known father was like shadow he struggled to get out of.
Whenever he played during his high school days, people always had a comment and it was always linked his father Joseph.
“When I played people heckled me, they would say ‘he doesn’t play like his dad,’ stuff like that,” the son of Joseph said. “At first I didn’t mind that at all, I was younger back then. Then there came a point when I took basketball seriously. Every time I played, I would think of what the people would say and I used it as motivation, an inspiration to do more.”
Perpetual Help’s calm talisman said that he only got to spend quality time with his father every nine months due to the latter’s job as a seaman.
His father never had much of a time to play one-on-one against him, only helping him with his shooting and jogging along with him, but his father’s presence is still felt even when he’s playing in the NCAA.
And whatever he does, his father always did it better.
“Whatever I achieve in basketball, because during his time he did not continue his career, anything my dad did it better,” Thompson said. “Of course he’s better, he’s my inspiration.
As he hopes of one day bringing his trickery to the PBA, he hopes his father could finally lie down in a couch and chill retirement away.
Thompson, feeling chills down his spine, said he wants his father to stay put in the Philippines once he makes a solid career in the PBA.
“If that time comes, I want him to watch me live. I’ll always think of him, he’s my inspiration,” Thompson said. “If I make it in the PBA, I would want him to stop working.” CFC