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Pinoys in NBA

Kanter of OKC sees multiple PH cagers making it

Oklahoma City Thunder player Enes Kanter believes that hardworking Filipinos would soon produce not one, two or three players in the NBA but as many as possible in the near future.

The aspiring players, according to the 6-foot-11 Kanter, have to dream big and possess the desire to achieve that goal just like he did when he was still ‘dreaming’ of one day playing in the NBA, which he eventually did when he finally reached the biggest stage in basketball in 2011.

“I want to inspire the kids, through education and basketball,” said the Turkish national who is on a two-day visit here for his Enes Kanter Light Foundation (EKLF). “I want to give them hope and confidence.”

“They need to believe in themselves that they can do it. Soon I see 5, 10, 15 Filipino players in the NBA. You have to dream big and try to achieve that dream,” added Kanter, who was selected No. 3 overall by the Utah Jazz during the 2011 NBA Rookie Draft.

Kanter, who played four seasons with the Jazz before he was dealt to the Thunder back in February 2015, said he wants to inspire young athletes, especially the less privileged children in cooperation with ICAD Foundation which is supporting those from Tacloban City which was devastated by typhoon Yolanda.

Kanter, whose visit included a meeting with boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, is impressed with the level of intensity and basketball knowledge of the Filipino people – particularly about the NBA.

“I can say the love of basketball is very high, and that makes me very happy,” said Kanter. “I told my family, my managers that the Philippines is going to be the best one. And right now they’re on the top.”

Kanter also shared his thoughts about the recent campaign of OKC in the NBA Playoffs, and playing with MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, who had a historic season by setting a record 42 triple-double numbers.

“Playing with Russell Westbrook is definitely an amazing thing because he makes himself better and at the same time he makes everybody else around him better… He deserves every part of that MVP,” he said.

Though his team is already out of the NBA playoffs, Kanter didn’t hide his preference as to where he would put his money to win the title, saying: “Not to Golden State… I want Boston Celtics to win the championship.”