Coach Raymond Townsend and his mission to mentor young Fil-Am basketball players

SAN JOSE — After his historic NBA career where he played for the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers in the late 70s to the early 80s, the first Filipino American to ever play in the NBA — Raymond Townsend Jr. — went back to his hometown of San Jose, California. 

This was when his love for coaching began.

“I started with 60 children or 60 young men and women in 1990. JC so it’s been an ongoing passion for me to develop skill development… what I wanted to do is I wanted to take the game, make it so the average player can compete with the more talented player, just by the knowledge that they have.”

In the past 30 years, more than 22,000 kids have gone through the RT Basketball program of Townsend.

 He’s helped many players get into collegiate basketball programs, and even all the way to the NBA. 

But he has a soft spot and special mission for his fellow Fil-Ams.

 Jaiden Paran is just one of many young Fil-Ams that Townsend has been helping. Townsend sees huge potential in Paran to achieve his goal of making it to a Division I NCAA team.

“Coach Raymond has really helped me a lot in terms of developing my game just giving me the confidence as well and sharing with me his knowledge and knowing that I can dream big and make it to the top just like he did.”

One of the big reasons why Townsend is giving back and helping the youth is because he wants to do this as a gesture of thanks to the many mentors who helped him achieve his dreams as he aspires to pay it all forward.

“It’s just a great feeling to know that you were so instrumental in them, achieving their dreams, I mean I had so many people in my life that played a part in me becoming the first fellow Filipino American to play in the NBA, and just trying to do my part to allow somebody else to reach theirs.”

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