Spoelstra's hope: A Pinoy in the NBA
MANILA, Philippines - Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is "proud to be a Filipino" and hopes that someday a Filipino will play in the NBA.
"Right now, you can't say that it won't happen (…) This game is global, it is not owned by America anymore. Players are coming from each different region and it just takes time, the right circumstances," Spoelstra said during an interview with TJ Manotoc of ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, which aired on Thursday, July 5.
Spoelstra, born in the United States to an American father and a Filipina mother, believes the first Filipino to play in the NBA could be a Fil-Am like himself, a Filipino who grew up in the US or "maybe someone who is growing up playing in the fields, someone in the Philippines right now."
"Why not? Let's dream about it. There have been players coming from everywhere else," said the Miami Heat coach, who joked that a few years ago no one would have believed a Fil-Am would be coaching a champion team in the NBA. (Read: LeBron leads Miami Heat to NBA Championship.)
Spoelstra thanked all the Filipino fans for their support even before the Heat's victory in the finals. He told young players that their dreams "can come true; it doesn't matter the skin color, or where you are from."
"I'm proud to be a Filipino. I hope that this opens more doors or at least more eyes back in the Philippines." - Rappler.com