Around the Association: Christian Alicpala
Photos c/o Christian Alicpala
For quite some time, the shared dream of Filipino hoops fans has been to see a local get drafted and make it to the NBA. Many think that time is coming soon, what with players like Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Kiefer Ravena making it to the D-League, and Kobe Paras beginning his NCAA Div. I career.
And yet, there are already Pinoys in the NBA. They may not be playing on the court, but in the front offices, practice facilities, and NBA HQ are many men and women representing three stars and a sun.
In “Around the Association,” we’ll introduce you to some of them, as we celebrate the first-ever Filipino Heritage Week:
Name and position? Christian Alicpala, Coordinator of Basketball Development for NBA Canada
What does the job entail? Manage all youth basketball development programs and events in Canada.
Filipino roots? Born in Batangas, and both parents are Filipino.
First memory of watching the NBA? Watching Michael Jordan on TV with my family. I was only 4- or 5-years-old.
Favorite team/player growing up? Chicago Bulls / Michael Jordan
Describe your path to working for the NBA: Graduated in the Civil Engineering Program in college. Worked in the engineering industry for two years, but didn’t like it so I pursued my passion, basketball. I worked part-time with the Toronto Raptors with the Basketball Development Team. Got an opportunity to work for NBA India to train teachers and student through the Jr. NBA program. Then landed an opportunity to work with NBA Canada.
Have you ever been star-struck when meeting a player/former player? I haven’t got the opportunity to meet my favourite player yet so I haven't been star-struck.
How do Filipino friends/acquaintances react upon knowing you work for the NBA? They are truly amazed! I think it’s something very prideful knowing how much the NBA is shown in the Philippines and how much influence basketball has in the culture.
An in-game NBA moment that really sticks out in your memory? I was able to attend a Raptors Playoff game and it was amazing to experience and see the growth and popularity of basketball in Canada. Being in that type of atmosphere gives you goosebumps!
Catch the two remaining Filipino Heritage Week games - MIN @ MIA on Saturday at 8am, and MIL @ GSW on Sunday at 10:30am. Check out this week's viewing guide for channel options.