Kobe Paras’ dad, coach speak up on UCLA withdrawal

LOS ANGELES – Two years of hoop dreams, excitement and anticipation took a twist this week for the Paras family when PBA legend Benjie Paras found out that his son Kobe was no longer going to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The younger Paras, who was Division 1 qualified to play, had already checked in and had begun summer school, but suddenly the admissions department said he did not meet some of the academic requirements causing the former slam dunk champion to withdraw.

“It was really a surprise for us and of course Kobe was really devastated. I was talking to him, and honestly, he was crying,” said Benjie.

Despite reports citing Cathedral High School’s principal saying that the issue involved his Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) score, Paras’ Coach William Middlebrooks said no exact details were given.

“That was a shock to the entire athletic department. Our understanding was as long as he’s a full qualifier academically, he’d be in school and for whatever reason, the head of admissions made a different decision. It was taken out of context. I think it came across strange to people. Various people interpret it the way they interpreted it but we don’t know what the reason is. Even the principal has not talked to anybody at UCLA admissions so therefore whatever the reason is they chose to make this decision we don’t have a fact to as why they made the decision,” said Middlebrooks.

Middlebrooks admitted that these issues do happen at all colleges and not just to student athletes. With Kobe now withdrawn from UCLA, it’s back to the recruitment process for the Division 1 eligible 18-year-old Paras.

With a couple of months before the school year, at least 80 Division 1 schools have reached out to the 6-foot-5 inch wing.

As Paras will weigh his options, he is expected to be in school and on the court in time for the 2016 college basketball season.

“He’s a hot commodity right now. We’re just back to the drawing board about finding the right fit, the right opportunity; that they understand who Kobe is, what his game is all about, what he means to the Philippines,” his coach said.

Benjie added, “We want for Kobe to pick a good school that he can play, and at the same time, getting good academics. I’m just here to support Kobe, support coach and Cathedral and the organization. Whatever decisions they make I’m going to be fine with it.”

Benjie, who flew to Los Angeles immediately after the withdrawal news came, has stayed positive and while his son has built a large following, he shared a message to the fans.

“Don’t worry. He’s going to be ok. He’s in good hands, Cathedral, Middlebrooks, they’re one big family. They will help each other when someone becomes successful they will be happy for him and when someone’s down they will help him get up. He’s in good hands right now and for sure you will see him play again,” he said.

Middlebrooks and Benjie said Kobe will not make any public comments or appearances as he continues to visit schools and workout on the court.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Juan
    5 July 2016 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Kobe Paras, may porma, may pigura, pero BOBO.. Hindi makapasok sa UCLA rated as #23 top University sa Amerika. At least SAT score of 1750 needed to be considered as an applicant to UCLA. Sa kanyang talent as a Basketball player madali siyang matanggap sa maliliit na University, at least mga BOBO rin ang makakasama niya.

  • Santiago Del Mundo
    10 July 2016 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Hey, are you a UCLA grad-alumni? Right, wrong or indifferent, you sound like one? The people that attends or attended UCLA are too smart that they can’t even tie their own shoe laces…basically not knowing differences between right and wrong…Same people who advocated global warming…planned on reversing earth’s rotation, launching a giant glass blocks into outer space to block the sun and ask you to pay for carbon emissions waiver…most importantly, not to fly the American flag at the UC Berkeley campus? Juan, you down playing Paras like that makes you even dumber than him. If you are any smarter, what can you tell Kobe to get a better SAT?

  • HELLO
    13 July 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Don’t feel bad, I was born in America, my dad came from the Philippines 1946 and he was only 17 years old and got married to my mom and she was born in America. Look from before the Americans always said that it don’t matter how smart you are and come from the Philippines the education is lower standard in the Philippines than America. Our family came from Philippines as lawyer or doctor in the Philippines, but had to go back to University here in America because of the standard of education from the Philippines. So I’m not surprise that is what happen in this case with Kobe Paras.

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