MANILA- The uncertainty surrounding the next UAAP season and the PBA's decision to waive its D-League requirements paved the way for Adamson's Jerrick Ahanmisi to join the upcoming Rookie Draft.
Ahanmisi, a former UAAP Mythical Team member, still had a season of eligibility left with the Soaring Falcons, but he decided in December to forego his final playing year.
During an appearance on "The Prospects Pod," Ahanmisi revealed that he had been thinking of leaving Adamson even before the UAAP formally canceled in December.
"To be honest, I was actually thinking about already leaving Adamson before the UAAP got canceled, not because I didn't want to play basketball or anything," he said.
"I just felt like I wanted to get my schooling degree somewhere else, probably back in the States somewhere," he added.
But an opportunity opened up for Ahanmisi when the PBA relaxed its requirements for rookie hopefuls. Ordinarily, players will have to go through a "residency" of sorts in the D-League, where they are required to play a certain number of games. For Filipino-foreign players like Ahanmisi, they need to play at least seven games in two D-League conferences to be eligible for the Draft.
The PBA waived that requirement this year, however, as its D-League season was scrapped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Ahanmisi, it was fellow rookie hopeful Aljun Melecio of De La Salle University who told him that the PBA had changed its rule.
"After I heard the news from him, I took it upon myself to actually think about it, talk about it with my family and they all agreed and I agreed to myself. It was a good idea to take a chance and enter this year's PBA draft," he said.
The sweet-shooting guard now has the opportunity to join his older brother, Maverick, in the PBA. Maverick was the third overall pick by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft and now plays for the Alaska Aces.
"He is really excited for me too," Jerrick said of his older brother. "It's always been a dream for us to play either against each other or with each other in the same league."
"Now, we'll have a chance to actually play with or against each other in a professional aspect," he added. "It just makes it even more exciting and more fun, for sure."
While he is looking forward to joining his brother in the PBA, Ahanmisi insists he does not have a preference for any team.
"I don't really have any team who I want to play with," he said. "Whatever team wants to pick me up, I'm just gonna give my best to fit in with the team, fit in with the coach."
"And if the coach likes me, I'm gonna give everything I have for that team, go 100 percent and improve my game, and hope the team gets better everyday."
Ahanmisi averaged 13.07 points, 3.57 rebounds, and 1.43 assists in his final season with the Soaring Falcons. In Season 81, he averaged 18.0 points per game and shot a blistering 41.7% from beyond the arc en route to making the Mythical Team.