Ever since I started Fresh Off the Bench last year, my main goal has always been to share my insight about the world of basketball. I’m very blessed that my passion for the sport has always been in my family. This provided me a unique way of seeing how basketball is more than just a reel of buzzer beaters and crossovers.
IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR
My grandfather, Rey Gamboa, used to be part of the PBA Board of Governors when the Shell Turbochargers were still in the mix. He is currently the chairman of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, the annual national tournament that pits the big schools from the UAAP, NCAA and regional teams from all over the Philippines in an NCAA-style knockout tournament.
He’s also about to start another professional league called Countrywide Basketball League, which will give amateur basketball athletes who have since graduated/played out their collegiate years another chance to pursue their dreams of becoming professional.
Through his accomplishments, I’ve come to understand how big the sport of basketball plays in the everyday lives of people, may they be professional athletes or avid supporters.
For Filipinos, basketball is more than just being the champion or being the runner-up – it has become a way of life. Ika nga, “ball is life.”
BALL IS LIFE
That’s when I realized that this blog needs to become more than just another ordinary sports blog. It needs to break the rules and start a new trend of how blogs should be.
It needs to inspire you.
You may be this kid in grade school, who wakes up at 5 AM every morning to play basketball. The ones who continue to do countless hours of drills to hone their craft, and the same ones who imagine hitting that game winning shot, even in their sleep.
You may also be the guy who got cut in your high school varsity team for being too little, too fat, too skinny, or too scared to showcase your talents among your classmates. The ones who wanted to follow the paths of their idols, and turn professional, but just couldn’t overcome the pressure just yet.
Or you may be the gentleman who just couldn’t catch a break in your career. The ones who suffered countless hurdles and have their dreams stolen away from them because of factors they can’t control. Injuries, connections, lack of financial help, or anything. And yet somehow, you still believe that something is out there for you.
Let me tell you this – it’s not over for you. Your dreams are still in play.
You may be wondering who am I to say that you shouldn’t lose hope in your dreams of becoming a professional athlete of your sport. I’m not a former UAAP champion who played for his beloved alma mater for 5 years. I’m not a PBA player who won a “grandslam” with Tim Cone, much less the first Filipino player to be drafted in the NBA.
But I know people who have been through this. From basketball to triathlon, from futsal to water polo, they are the ones who’ve faced adversity but never gave up on their goals. They are the ones who treated limits and fears as nothing more than an illusion.
They are winners in the purest sense of the word.
The best part? They’re willing to share their story.
In the coming weeks, I will be releasing a new type of post for FOTB – “PROFILES.” Through their journey, I hope you will be able to learn what it takes to succeed in your sport and in life. I hope you use their experience as motivation to never give up. And lastly, I hope to inspire you and provide you more reasons to not quit.
The late Nelson Mandela once said, “Sports can create hope, where there was once only despair.”
Let Fresh Off the Bench provide you that hope.
– David Gamboa
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