Late reading this.
If you are from UP please read this!
One of our players was offered what would translate in any parlance as a “bribe” — allowances of all sorts, housing, and the spot cash of P1 million — just to play for another school. He is 17, young, impressionable, and impoverished like most of his teammates. Saying “yes” would have been the easier and more lucrative response. True to his UP education, I was told, he gave an emphatic “No!”
But like I said, basketball has grown shamelessly commercialized these days. The other school went directly to our player’s hometown to talk to his parents. If the kid won’t agree, perhaps, the parents will be a tad less uncompromising, they must have thought.
Our Maroon, having learned of what happened, borrowed money, practically begging for airfare so he can convince his parents otherwise. Back in his hometown, he pleaded with them: “I am staying in UP. I will get my UP diploma. UP is my team, my second family, my community!”
Of course, every parent would want the best for their children. The offer was tempting, sure, but the kid’s plea was also unbending. The father requested only one thing: one win, one win out of several games in a season; not the championship, not the MVP, just one win; not the sun and the stars, just a ray of hope that this adolescent does not waste away his future on something so abstract as the “UP way.”