Want to be like James Harden? Work hard

Josiah Albelda
James Harden has advice for aspiring Filipino basketball players

THE BEARD. Harden says that he succeeded because of hard work. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

MANILA, Philippines — James Harden, the All-Star guard of the Houston Rockets, started playing basketball like most Filipinos did: on the streets.

“That’s what got me to this point right now. It is my streetball,” Harden told a throng of reporters in his return to the Philippines on Thursday, July 23, for the NBA 3X.

The shooting guard, who was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2012, shared how he nurtured his game while strutting his wares in playgrounds in his native California.

“Playing on the streets when I was a little kid,” he said. “From middle school to high school, just playing with my friends, playing after school.”

All work

But Harden did not make it to the NBA by just that, saying that getting into the world’s biggest basketball stage is no easy feat.

And as Filipinos continue to look for the first-ever Pinoy who will play in the NBA, Harden has only one advice.

“All work,” the 23-year-old guard shared. “Being in the gym, having that competitive edge. That’s my mindset and that’s my tip to the Filipino guys.”

“No matter who you play, you gotta compete and give it your all.”

Fan base is unbelievable

It’s Harden’s second time in the Philippines, returning after playing in an exhibition game with fellow NBA stars in 2011 and sharing that he is excited to be back in this basketball-crazy country.

“The fan base is amazing here in the Philippines,” he said. “Last time we went here, the crowd was unbelievable.”

Harden expects the same treatment this time and especially on October 10, when his Rockets take on Eastern Conference finalist Indiana in the NBA Global Games.

“Definitely we’ll have the home court edge here,” he candidly said, eliciting a positive response from the audience. “Because you love the Rockets more than the Pacers.” – Rappler.com

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