Bong Ravena thought son Kiefer was bound to become a coach
TAIPEI – Ferdinand “Bong” Ravena, the former PBA Rookie of the Year and many-time national team member, knew right when son Kiefer was just about five years old, that his son would also be having a career in basketball.
But not as a player who has the potential to be truly great.
“I said to myself, he could become a player some day. Could,” Ravena said on Monday before he and wife Mozzy watch their oldest child in the 39th Jones Cup Invitational here.
“I honestly thought that he would make a great coach in the future.”
Bong explained why that idea came to mind.
“I started bringing him to my practices when he was five,” Bong said. “That’s when he was first introduced to the game. But one night, at home, we were watching a game on TV and it was Kiefer who was telling me ‘look, dad, they will call a timeout.’”
Bong dismissed that as a fluke, until Kiefer started reading defensive alignments, offensive executions and substitution patterns by coaches every time they saw a game.
“He once told me: ‘Look, dad, they’re playing a box-in-one (defense),” the elder Ravena said with genuine amazement. “He must be special, I said then. Because, I, being a player, can’t read a box-in-one defense when I am on the floor.”
“I then declared that night: My son would be a great coach someday.”
Kiefer, though, has had other plans since that night. He has continued to understand the game and because of his gift to be able to read game situations wherever he is, has an advantage over most players who don’t like to use their heads to get ahead of the rest.
“Kiefer makes very sound decisions,” Bong said.
The younger Ravena has gone on to make waves in an outstanding amateur career, winning championships and MVPs while with Ateneo in the UAAP and cracking this Gilas Pilipinas roster of pros playing here.
In all likelihood, he declare his availability for the coming PBA Draft and could very well wind up as the top overall pick, and he has started his transition to becoming a point guard by starting out at that spot for Gilas in its last two games here.
There’s no doubt that Kiefer is bound to have an outstanding professional career as well, but that doesn’t mean that dad Bong was wrong in how he saw his son when he was five.
The coaching could still come.