#ThrowbackThursday: Then-rookies Kiefer and AVO as ‘Chalk’ cover boys

Barry Viloria on Aug 25, 2016 04:05 PM
#ThrowbackThursday: Then-rookies Kiefer, AVO as cover boys
Remember when they were this totoy-like? (Photos courtesy of Chalk Magazine)

We dreaming over their entry to the Gilas squad just proves how UAAP alumni Kiefer Ravena and Arnold van Opstal are both born basketball superstars. But before they went on to decorate their jerseys with at least one UAAP senior’s title plus special individual awards each, they, too, started out carrying the “up-and-coming ” tag.

As rookies in 2011, the two came out as the UAAP Season 74’s fresh faces. Ravena, a spawn of a living basketball great Bong Ravena, easily stood out as a three-time UAAP juniors’ event champ. Van Opstal played for the green team, too, for La Salle Zobel.

Either as individuals or together, it was inevitable for them to be gracing guestings, events, or even magazine covers.

“There was a lot of buzz surrounding both Kiefer and AVO during the time,” recalls Chalk editor-in-chief Elaine Carag, who was then the youth magazine’s lifestyle editor.

It was July that year. Carag and the team would thus put them together for the first time on Chalk’s cover. It found itself fitting for the magazine’s annual UAAP-themed issue, a primer on the biggest collegiate sports league with extensive features on athletes and other UAAP-related stories.

“They were both rookies, and the two were just perfect considering they come from Ateneo and La Salle—a rivalry that Chalk has extensively covered since the beginning.”

As student-athletes then, there were already hints that Ravena and van Opstal would grow to be in-demand rising stars.

“I remember the shoot had to be scheduled late at night because the two were both busy with training. They were both newbies then, a bit shy still but they were both very fun to shoot,” Carag continues.

That issue proved to be well-received by the readers, many of which were devout UAAP fans, whether they came from Ateneo or La Salle or not, says Carag. As the years went by, Ravena and van Opstal would also go back and forth to the magazine for other special features.

“Kiefer and AVO are both very easy to work with, easy to talk to and very chill. The two are very confident and stylish as well, making them perfect subjects for shoots! We've never had any bad experiences shooting these two, and we hope they continue being successful in their careers in the pros,” says Carag.

“We were really able to see the transformation from freshman to seniors. Year after year, we saw their games improve as well as their careers. They became real pros in front of the camera as well!”

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