MANILA, Philippines – The brother of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters rookie guard Maverick Ahanmisi, Jerrick, is currently staying in the Philippines and is seeking to play college basketball in the country, with 3 premier UAAP schools arising as possible landing spots.
The 18-year-old from Burbank, California recently graduated high school at Village Christian High School, where he reportedly averaged over 10 points and 3 assists a game at one point in the season according to a report by the Los Angeles Daily News in March.
The report also indicates that Ahanmisi scored 23 points and nailed 7 triples in a game.
“I’ve seen my brother play here since the D-League, and I think the Philippines is a really good fit for me, and the type of play I play, and I just think watching my brother play here in the PBA, I think that hopefully one day I’ll be able to play in the PBA also,” Jerrick told Rappler in an exclusive interview on Monday, December 28.
“I love physical type of play when I play basketball and I just think that the Philippines provides that when they play basketball,” explained the 6-foot-1 point guard and shooting guard.
Jerrick’s brother Maverick, 24, was drafted third overall by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2015 PBA Draft and is currently averaging 8.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a game.
(READ: Maverick Ahanmisi embraces pressure that comes with being 3rd pick)
But while his brother played college ball in the United States for University of Minnesota, Jerrick, who says he tries to model his game after his idol Kobe Bryant, wants to take the more traditional path to the pro league here in the country.
He’s already practiced with the basketball teams of 3 UAAP schools: National University, Ateneo, and La Salle.
“Ateneo is like a university in the States. It’s gated. Everything is gated and you get to walk around inside the school, and then when you walk out, there’s food everywhere,” he shared about his impression of the university.
“La Salle, they have like a little mall in the middle, so it’s like they got shoes there, they got food there, you can get your hair cut.
“NU is like, they got different floors, but the top floor is where the basketball court is, and it’s kind of an exercise. I have to walk up the stairs and stuff, but it was cool.”
Jerrick says he’s hopeful that his practice sessions can land him a roster spot with even just one of universities. Since he hasn’t enrolled in any school in the United States and is straight out of high school, he wouldn’t have to go through residency and can play as soon as next UAAP season if lined up by a team.
“I think, hopefully, I’ll get in one of the schools, but if they don’t see the potential that I have, then it’s their choice,” said Jerrick, who shared that he’s had only one practice sessions with each of the 3 universities. Still, he’s confident about what he showed.
“All I want to do is really play here in the Philippines, and whatever opportunity I get, I’m going to take it,” he said.
The Filipino-American said one of the moments that made him realize he really wanted to play ball here took place back in October, while he was watching a UAAP game.
“I saw one UAAP game, it was FEU and La Salle I think, it was like the beginning of the season and all, and even though it was the beginning of the season, the whole crowd was filled, and you can hear the drums going, you can hear the crowd chanting as loud as they can,” he said.
“It was crazy. I told my brother when I was watching, ‘I need to play here, bro, I got to play here.’ It was so much fun.”
In the event he doesn’t get to play college hoops in the country right away, Ahanmisi won’t give up on his dream.
“If I go back, then hopefully, cause I’m still young, so I’m probably just going to go to a prep school for one year and then see if any other school wants to get me or wants me to play for them, so that’s kind of like my backup,” he said.
But he hasn’t only come up with a back-up plan. The young talent already knows what his plans are even after his days as a basketball player.
“Business and Management,” he said, when asked what degrees he wants to take up while playing college hoops, “so that hopefully after my basketball career, I know how to start a business up or run a business.” – Rappler.com
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