I have always found ball a mirror of life in general.
It’s an unpredictable game, with ups and downs, but you just keep at it. Playing pick-up or just ball in general has allowed me to cross people of many different backgrounds and at the same time create friendships through this.
My first memory of ball was in my cousin’s backyard growing up. I remember particularly that I hated losing; I was just like, damn this! The love of the game grew from there and from that moment onwards it was always a push to constantly get better.
I was seven when I left my native Philippines – migrating to Australia – where I grew up mainly on Sydney’s North Shore. This was the era of watching Jordan, Magic, Ewing – pretty much 1990s ball. My parents then wanted to retire up on the Central Coast so we moved up in my final year of high school.
The era I grew up in was based on defence – you took pride in shutting a person down. The game back then was so physical. Even growing up I remember it being a physical game and particularly in the Phillipines. You may hate each other on court, but ball usually brings people altogether for a feed, a drink and a laugh too. I think communication on the court is oddly my biggest strength. I’m a pretty quiet person off the court, so it’s pretty much a split personality.
These days when rep ball is in offseason I play pick-up mainly at Terrigal on Sundays, or sometimes I’ll travel down to Sydney for a change of pace.