Sunday, July 17, 2011

The story behind Kobe Bryant's FEU jersey.

I honestly thought it was a well-prepared skit. And that Kobe's choice to wear an FEU jersey was a carefully-planned politically-correct decision. Because if Kobe opted to wear either blue or green, due to the expected overflow of Atenean or La Sallian braggadocio, twitter would explode. So I asked around and uncovered the funny story. Turns out Kobe never thought of playing. Nike Country Manager Mae Dichupa swears, "Not at all! It was just supposed to be a clinic."

For whatever reason, maybe it was the crowd, maybe it was watching our young players play, maybe he just wanted to play ball, Kobe decided to join the Gilas vs UAAP scrimmage. And Kobe wanted to help the UAAP squad so he needed a jersey.

Quick to react, Bert Flores, FEU Head Coach and Coach of the UAAP Selection vs Gilas, handed him a brand new FEU jersey. "Binigay sa amin ng Nike supply namin, pa-authograph ko sana yun," Flores said. "Tapos gusto niya maglaro kaya binigay ko sa kanya. Gusto daw niya dilaw para Lakers. Sabi ko 'This is the FEU jersey, do you want to wear this?' and sabi niya, 'Yes!' kaya binigay ko na."

I immediately asked FEU Athletic Director Mark Molina if Kobe was the best player to ever wear an FEU jersey. Molina replied, "Wala kaming magawa. Talagang he chose to wear FEU over ADMU and DLSU. Was Kobe best player to wear FEU jersey? Tingin ko lamang ng konti sa kanya si (Bryant) Punzalan at si (Jun) Paguinto." MH

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