|Filipino-American Kris Rosales dreams of playing int he NBA someday. Photo grabbed from Balitang America
FULLERTON, California - Japeth Aguilar fell short of his hoop dreams while Sedrick Barefield is still in high school. However, one Filipino-American may see his NBA hoop dreams fulfilled by the end of the year.
Standing 6-feet tall, Kris Rosales is the most outstanding player in the Golden State Athletic Conference. He is the pride of the small Christian school Hope International University in Fullerton and has received college all American honors as he led his school to an all-time school high of 24 wins the past season.
While most of his classmates are out interviewing for jobs after college, the physical therapy graduate has tried out for several high profile potential employers, among them: the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors.
"It feels pretty good. Not a lot of Filipinos have the chance to work out with NBA teams or have the opportunity to go to the NBA. So I feel pretty blessed I'm given this opportunity," said the 22-year-old.
"I feel like every time I work out with a team or just workout in front of people it's like an interview. But instead of dressing up in a shirt and tie I put on some basketball shorts and shoes and try to perform my best," he added.
Born and raised in Southern California, Rosales' mother, Jean, is a nurse while father, Neilon, is an architect.
The star point guard began playing basketball at age 4. He eventually went on to play for throughout his life, including his four years at Hope.
Rosales recalled meeting some of NBA history's top point guards.
"In Brooklyn I met Jason Kidd and Deron Williams in the weight room. I was in the same weight room as him and I remember when I was in college I would have never thought that I'd be in the same weight room as Deron Williams, same room as Jason Kidd so it's pretty amazing," he said.
While Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra is half Filipino, only Ray Townsend, who played in the late seventies is the only player with Filipino heritage to hit the hardwood.
Rosales is determined to go where no-full blooded Filipino, or Hope alumni has gone before-- he'll even do it on one hand.
He injured his right hand, his shooting hand, weeks before his first try-out. He called the injury a blessing as it forced him to develop more basketball skills.
"I had just gotten my cast taken off like 3 or 4 days before and I had no mobility in it, I couldn't bend it so we decided we're going go left handed in the workout, taped up the right hand and went left handed the whole workout I shot the ball pretty good," he explained.
Rosales is continuing to prepare himself for the NBA's Developmental League draft, which takes place later this year. Now with his shooting hand fully healed, he will be participating in a pro summer basketball league in Los Angeles this month, which has produced many NBA stars.