Gilas hopeful Remy Martin's dreams go beyond the basketball court
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 15, 2017 05:50 PM
Remy Martin, then playing for Sierra Canyon School. (File photo by Gregory Payan, Associated Press)
Any cager dreams of making it big in the NBA.
Just ask Filipino-American point guard Remy Martin of the Arizona State University Sun Devils.
But amid his success in the U.S., it's still true to Martin's nature to tap into his Pinoy roots.
Aside from openly saying that he dreams of playing for Gilas Pilipinas, he's also manifesting his Pinoy upbringing through his goals.
"Being raised in that Filipino household has stuck with me and made me the person I am today," Martin said via Craig Morgan in an interview for thesundevils.com.
"They care for you, they show you love and they are so supportive. That's what I want to be for others," Martin reflects.
Now currently seeking further success in the U.S., Martin hopes to inspire Filipinos to reach for the stars, while keeping their roots firmly intact.
"Every time I look at it, all I want to do is help the culture, let people know that there are Filipino basketball players that can play at this level and potentially do more," he said.
More than basketball, however, Martin wants to give hope, empower Pinoy kids to dream bigger.
"Every time I step out on that court it's for them. It's for hope. I want to help the kids there be more motivated and see that there is another path."
Born to Filipina Mary Ann Macaspac, Martin carved out a name for himself during his high school days at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California by possessing a certain drive and defensive focus not usually seen from younger prospects.
Now in college, Martin says he wants his defense to be his calling card. At 5'11" his intensity on the less glamorous end of the court gives him an edge among his taller, more physically gifted peers.
As he bares: "I try to capitalize on the little things like playing defense because it's mental and it's mostly heart."
Heart. Sounds familiar, right?
That's the undying phrase embedded in the Pinoy basketball psyche as the battle cry of Gilas Pilipinas.
And it's his Puso -- and defense -- that's earning him praise from head coach and former Duke Blue Devil Bobby Hurley.
"He's just got a great fire and passion and positive energy," Hurley said via thesundevils.com. "He likes to demoralize the opponent if he can; just wear him down into submission just because of how hard he's willing to play on defense and then create."
And by working hard and being himself, Martin is slowly coming close to his goal.
"Imagine being LeBron James here and having that kind of impact on kids," Martin said, "It's about knowing that they have somebody where they can say 'oh, look, we have him. We have somebody that has been through this' and they can follow that."
He reportedly wants to visit the Philippines "within the next couple of years" but for now, he's doing his part in inspiring the next generation of Pinoy ballers.
"Maybe I can pave the way for those kids to get some exposure. Why not? Why can't I do it? Because I'm small? OK, well, I'll be the first one then," he said.