Filipino basketball players

‘Sky’s the limit’ for Jack Animam in women’s pro hoops

Beatrice Go

BEST CHANCE. Jack Animam transitions from being an undefeated collegiate basketball player to the pros.

Richard Esguerra/Rappler

Jack Animam's arrival in the US prepares her for many opportunities in women's pro hoops all over the world – including the WNBA

Filipina basketball star Jack Animam is about to prove that she has great potential in women’s professional basketball all over the world.

As Animam and her talent management firm East West Private (EWP) still target the WNBA dream, they are both optimistic of the countless opportunities that will lead to that goal.

“The intention initially was just to get her here to train and develop and go from there,” said EWP partner Patty Scott.

“Even from the first day she stepped on the court here, the progress she has made this week, if she continues to develop herself at that pace day after day, no questions – sky’s the limit for this young lady.”

According to Scott, there were difficulties in processing Animam’s visa, but then she was able to gain the interests of professional teams when she sent her game mixtapes and film.

“The visa process was difficult, timing-wise, there were a lot of teams interested in her. Had the timing been a little different, we would’ve seen her in a training camp before the season, but I guess everything happens for a reason and we trust that process,” added Scott.

The former National University (NU) Lady Bulldog is open to pursuing professional leagues abroad for the remainder of the year before earning a training camp contract with a WNBA team.

“We all know what goes on during the year in any kind of league. Most WNBA players play in Europe as well.”

Full-blooded Filipina Chanelle Molina, who hails from Hawaii, went through the same path as she played for the Norrkoping Dolphins in the top-tier competition of the Swedish Basketball League before landing a training camp contract with the Indiana Fever.

However, Molina was waived from the squad due to an ankle injury.

For now, Animam will continue honing her craft as she shifts from her usual role on the post to playing outside the paint.

“Of course it’s totally different. In the Philippines, I was one of the biggest, tallest girls out there, and here, I’m just an average height. So I really need to work double time to catch up and compete with them,” said the 6-foot-2 Filipino basketball star.

“I need to explore and play outside the paint, take those mid-range shot and make those jumpers.”

Animam currently holds an undefeated collegiate basketball record after five years of playing for UAAP powerhouse NU and a one-year stint with Shih Hsin University in the University Basketball Association in Taiwan. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.