By Dat Winning
Once known as the Filipino kid who “dunked” on Lebron James, Kobe Paras is now committed to play for Creighton in the 2016-17 season.
After moving to Los Angeles from the Philippines to pursue a chance to play college ball, and potentially a pro career in the NBA, Paras hit the prep radar quickly via social media when the Lebron video went viral. His highlight-friendly style of play and elite athleticism didn’t hurt.
Paras’ Twitter has reached the six-figure range and his Ball is Life video below has over 1.6 million views. He appeared to be on a fast track to basketball stardom, looking like the best NBA prospect ever to come out of the Philippines. He committed to UCLA in October 2015.
Paras, however, was forced to withdraw his commitment to the Bruins after UCLA denied him admission on June 28 of this year.
Though it was initially thought this decision was due to academic shortcomings, Paras’ prep school Middlebrooks Academy issued a somewhat peculiar statement to clarify that academics was not an issue. It is not clear why the decision was made.
After his withdrawal, Paras had what Middlebrooks called “numerous D-I offers,” and he chose Creighton. The Bluejays finished 20-15 last year, going 9-9 in the Big East. They were invited to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) were they reached the quarterfinals.
Creighton has seen thirteen alumni play in the NBA, including current players Kyle Korver, Anthony Tolliver, and Doug McDermott.