Filipino NBA prospect Kobe Paras will not play for the UCLA Bruins anymore. The highly touted Paras committed to UCLA but backed out on Wednesday after failing to meet certain requirements.
UCLA announced that Paras will no longer pursue his enrollment after failing to meet academic conditions of his admission to the university, Los Angeles Times reported. The move could hurt Paras’ development if he fails to find another major program in the United States.
Los Angeles Cathedral High also issued a statement about Paras’ sudden exit at UCLA. Principal John Montgomery said that Paras was an honor student when he graduated but had to pull out of his commitment due SAT scoring issues. Montgomery added that the Filipino NBA prospect met all his NCAA requirements when he graduated.
Cathedral basketball coach William Middlebrooks confirmed Paras’ exit but added that all is not lost for the 6-foot-5 wing prospect. Middlebrooks said that Paras is expected to receive offers from other NCAA Division I schools in the coming weeks and will be wearing another uniform when his collegiate career in the United States kicks off.
Paras, who was named after Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, first honed his skills in the Philippines, where he played for La Salle Greenhills before moving to United States. He played two seasons at Cathedral High School, where he averaged 15 points per game during his junior season, Daily Bruin reported.
Paras is already a huge icon in his basketball-crazy home country. The promising forward led the Philippines to a gold-medal finish in the 2013 FIBA Asia U18 3×3 Championships. Two years later, Paras also became YouTube sensation when he ruled to the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships slam dunk competition.
Before the news about his decommitment broke out, UCLA head coach Steve Alford was looking forward to taking advantage of Paras’ athleticism and love for the game. “To add a talented player like Kobe to our program is terrific. He’s a very athletic guard who plays with tremendous energy,” Alford said of Paras.
Now that Paras is back on the market, the four-star recruit is expected to listen to new offers in the coming days. According to Scout, Arizona State, California, Portland State, Texas-Arlington, UC-Santa Barbara and UC-Irvin previously expressed interest in acquiring the Filipino prospect.
For more sports news, you can subscribe to our newsletter. If you are a social media junkie and would like to receive updates on your timeline, then you can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.