Post-holidays catch-up with Kobe Paras
Barry Viloria on Jan 01, 2016 05:54 PM
Boy, did the basketball prodigy miss celebrating Christmas and New Year’s in the Philippines—only with his loved ones, of course! (Photos taken from Paras’ Instagram: @_kobeparas)
Up-and-coming UCLA Bruins player Kobe Paras has let two holiday seasons of not having to spend it in the Philippines pass, so being able to celebrate the past Christmas and New Year’s eves here was something special. He has been here since December and will return to L.A. this first week of January.
Between the feasts, shopping sprees, and other bonding activities with the fam, celebrating #holidays2015 turned out to be as simple for the Parases.
“Just being with my family during the holidays is the best feeling ever,” Kobe tells ABS-CBN Sports on the first day of 2016. “I haven’t spent Christmas here in two years, so being in Manila for this season has been the happiest for 2015!”
Raised very Filipino, the basketball prodigy can get really cheesy when it comes to family. Being away for two years now since being recruited as a student-athlete at Cathedral Heights High, he considers family time the most important of all.
Kobe’s got love for all his three brothers André, Sam, and Riley saying, “My love for them is unconditional and I would do anything for them. I missed them like crazy! The happiness they bring to my life is one of the most precious things!”
And, of course, for his parents Benjie (also a former PBA star) and Lyxen whom he never fails to dote on.
“Just being in the presence of my parents makes me feel safe,” he says. “A lot of kids these days take their parents for granted and it’s really sad, so I make the most of my time with them when I’m in the Philippines.”
Kobe has admitted before in entertainment magazine StarStudio that he often gets homesick while abroad—a feeling that was eventually overtaken by his determination to succeed because, well, “Ang hirap naman kasi na iiwanana mo lang basta yung opportunity na binigay sa ‘yo.”
Right now, he seems to have adjusted.
“The independent life is going well. Just being able to do things on my own already feels like an achievement,” he says.
“But it's also really hectic, honestly.”
Kobe’s day starts at the weight room early morning and then at the court for basketball practice after. He then goes to school, before doing the same things again in the afternoon.
“My social life is only during the weekends and I don't really have friends there so I just spend it with my uncle or (my girlfriend) Gabrielle Current,” he confesses.
Next school year will definitely prove big for the 18 year-old, with his collegiate career in the US NCAA Division I finally kicking off. With the guidance of coach Steve Alford, it might still be a long way before he becomes a true star. But he seems to have already accomplished something if you ask him.
“Making kids happy in kiddie camps in my school may be one of my achievements there. Seeing the little kids happy makes me remember my two little brothers, Riley and Sam.”