FIBA World Cup

Nowitzki humbled, surprised by PH love: ‘I didn’t know it was this crazy’

Delfin Dioquino
Nowitzki humbled, surprised by PH love: ‘I didn’t know it was this crazy’

ALL LOVE. Dirk Nowitzki shares a photo with Filipino fans as he attends the FIBA World Cup draw.

FIBA Facebook page

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki is in awe after being showered with love and admiration by Filipinos as he visits the Philippines for the first time for the FIBA World Cup draw

MANILA, Philippines – How could a former NBA star who had never set foot in a country be ever so loved by its people?

Dirk Nowitzki still grapples to answer that question after being showered with love and admiration by Filipino hoop fans as he visited the Philippines for the first time as part of the FIBA delegation for the World Cup draw.

“I knew the Philippines loved their basketball but I didn’t know it was this crazy,” said the Dallas Mavericks legend, who is now a member of the FIBA Central Board.

“Everybody loves hoops, loves the Mavericks, loves the NBA. It means a lot.”

China icon Yao Ming and Argentina great Luis Scola also attended the draw on Saturday, April 29, at the Araneta Coliseum, but the German star drew the loudest cheers.

Nowitzki returned the favor as he gamely took photos with fans and accommodated their requests for autographs.

Overall, it was an “amazing” trip for the former NBA MVP, who also found time to go around Tagaytay and meet President Bongbong Marcos throughout his short stay.

“It’s been humbling to see. It’s my first time ever here, but people have followed my career from that far away without ever getting to see a game,” said Nowitzki.

“This is really special.”

Aside from being a FIBA Central Board member, Nowitzki – who headlines the 2023 class that will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this August – also serves as the chairman of the FIBA Players’ Commission. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.