MANILA, Philippines -- Incoming Ateneo de Manila University guard Jared Brown is well aware of the pressure that comes with wearing the No. 0 for the Blue Eagles, but it's the kind of pressure that he is ready to embrace.
Brown was introduced as the latest member of the Ateneo recruiting class last week, with the Filipino-American guard set to make his debut in Season 86.
Even before he was formally announced, Brown had already posted a photo of himself on social media wearing a No. 0 Ateneo jersey.
It's a number that carries great significance in the Ateneo basketball program, having been worn by Thirdy Ravena during his time with the Blue Eagles. Ravena led Ateneo to three straight UAAP championships from Seasons 80-82, in the process becoming a three-time Finals MVP.
"Obviously, I know it's big shoes to fill, with Thirdy Ravena. That's an all-time great right there," Brown told reporters.
"But that's what I wore my whole high school and college career, so that's why I chose it," he explained.
While he has to serve one season of residency -- Brown played three years for Westmont College -- the guard is already looking forward to suiting up for the Blue Eagles and playing for Tab Baldwin.
"Obviously, there were options of going to other schools in the Philippines… [but] I want to play for Coach Tab," said Brown. "He's probably the best coach out there, so I wanna play for him."
"From the start, Coach Tab already told me that he's giving me an opportunity and it's my job to take full advantage of it. He's not guaranteeing me anything and that's what I like about it," he added. "I like to compete and I don't like just given to me, so that's what I'm expecting from him."
"I'm also trying to be a sponge to him and soak up all his knowledge."
Aside from Brown, Ateneo also added Paul Garcia, Mason Amos, and teenager Kyle Gamber to their class.
Catch replays of UAAP Season 84 games via the UAAP Varsity channel on iWantTFC, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.