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Metta World Peace wants to see ‘proud Filipino’ son Jeron play for Gilas

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ

Jeron Artest plays for FilAm Sports. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Metta World Peace himself has said it—his son Jeron Artest wants to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas.

The former Los Angeles Laker is in the Philippines to watch his son compete in the 2019 NBTC Nationals with FilAm Sports.

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Artest has received multiple scholarship offers from different schools like St. John’s, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, Princeton, and even Ivy League university Yale but the prospect of suiting up for the Philippine national basketball team is always a goal for the doggy guard.

“He really wants to play for the Philippines and he’d love to play in the Olympics one day,” said World Peace Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.

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World Peace added that Artest’s desire to wear the tricolor stems from his love of his mother Jennifer and grandmother Winny.

“My son is so proud to be Filipino, he loves his Lola Winnie and he’s just extremely proud and I’m proud of him for not forgetting where he came from,” said World Peace. “That’s my son, I love him to death and he’s so proud.”

Metta World Peace at a press conference during the NBTC National Finals at Mall of Asia Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Artest, now 18, applied for a Philippine passport in 2017 when he was 16 and he’s already eligible to represent the country in Fiba-sanctioned tournaments or even the Olympics.

World Peace, though, has one lesson for his son.

“He has to earn it, I tell him that all the time,” said World Peace who revealed that his son was getting scholarship offers not just because of basketball but because of Artest’s scholastic traits.

“He started coding when he was 13, invested in Tesla when he was 12 or 13 while also investing in AMD, which is a semiconductor company, and when he was like 13 or 14 he coded a game called Jeronimo but he stopped coding because he had to play basketball,” said World Peace who exuded the aura of a proud father.

World Peace added that Artest had the skills to become a professional golfer while also becoming a promising DJ, but basketball and schoolwork were his son’s passions.

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The former Defensive Player of the Year of the NBA added that Artest has yet to decide if he’s going to pursue in Stanford or UC-Berkeley while also thinking about pursuing Finance or Design in other universities.

“The key thing I want Filipino kids to take away is that if you put your mind to something you could do absolutely anything you want,” said World Peace. “Jeron is not only wanting to build his basketball brand out here in the Philippines, he also wants to inspire kids by education.”

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

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TAGS: 2019 NBTC Nationals, Gilas Pilipinas, Jeron Artest, Metta World Peace, Sports
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