MANILA, Philippines – Former La Salle Greenhills standout Kobe Paras is already gaining popularity as he starts out his career at the Los Angeles Cathedral school in California, where fans have already taken to chanting his name.
Paras, who transferred from Greenhills to Cathedral last year, scored 22 points in a 50-57 loss to Long Beach Poly in the DeMar DeRozan tournament, according to a report from the LA Times.
LA Times reporter Eric Sondheimer noted Paras sat out the previous season, but says “the wait was worth it, based on his performance.”
Paras made three three-pointers before fouling out with 48 seconds to go in the game. His coach, William Middlebrooks, said the 16-year-old player was “okay.”
“He’s got a lot to learn,” Middlebrooks added.
Sondheimer further reported that Paras has already grown three inches since arriving at Cathedral, and now stands at 6-foot-6.
As for the “Ko-be” chants that he has been receiving during games, Paras says it works in his favor.
“It’s motivation when they scream my name. I can get pumped,” says Paras, the younger son of the PBA’s only Rookie of the Year/MVP winner, Benjie Paras.
Paras gained notoriety last year when he “dunked” over NBA superstar LeBron James during his brief visit to Manila. He also won the FIBA U-18 3x3 dunk contest in Jakarta, Indonesia, wowing the crowd by dunking over teammate Thirdy Ravena who was seated on a motorcycle.