You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy
After one of Mighty Sports’ practice prior to their Dubai International Basketball Tournament campaign, Kiefer Ravena shared, “You never know when Ray [Parks] Jr. and I will cross paths again.”
Ravena’s second stint with Mighty Sports ended on a sour note, however, as he injured his shooting arm, which sidelined him for the next two weeks. And once the tournament ended, he needed to immediately fly back to the States and return to his commitments with Dallas Mavericks-affiliate Texas Legends.
“On-going pa yung [NBA] D-League so I have to get back there,” he said.
Alab Pilipinas, another club team that plays for regional league ABL, came calling, asking if he could reinforce their team led by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. And when a team that represents the Philippines is asking for help, you can’t say no.
Ravena can only join the team once the D-League season ends on April 1, however.
If his situation had been different, Ravena could have simply stayed here once Mighty Sports’ campaign ended. He could have played for Alab until the ABL season ended, then just throw his name into the PBA Draft. Certainly he’ll be the first or second overall pick in the draft.
But in reality, Ravena has chosen to continue trekking an uncertain road.
“Marami akong natututunan sa States. When I went there, back to zero talaga e. Dito sa Pilipinas, okay ka na but over there you have to start from scratch and you have to find where to start first,” he told Tiebreaker Times.
“Higher competition dun and you have to keep on working harder than the day before. Added challenge siya and it’s a motivation for me to become a better basketball player. It thought me a lot and masaya naman siya.”
The path he is on now does not have a definite end. He could be picked up by an NBA team, be a lifelong D-Leaguer, or even be sent packing. But even in the face of uncertainty, the two-time UAAP MVP has no regrets.
“The only way that my expectations won’t match the reality is if I didn’t go there and try it out. When I’m there, I believe na kaya ‘to,” the second-generation cager said.
“The dream is still far from being reached but at the same time, it’s not impossible to get it.
“Hopefully, I’ll make it to the Summer League team with my experience sa D-League team of the Mavs. Hopefully, I’ll be given the chance to play in the Summer League and start from there siguro,” he added.
And at just 23 years of age, Kiefer Ravena still has youth on his side to support him in this chase.
Photo by Edmir Capuno/Mighty Sports