Guian Chiu, the Great Brown Hope
After months of mulling over his choices with his parents, Filipino basketball center Gian Chiu will be playing for Oberlin College, a US NCAA Division III school. Chiu, the 6’10” former Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglet, graduated in the top five of his class at Desert Christian High School in Palm Springs, California.
It was a long, circuitous road for Chiu, who has been following his own internal compass. Intent on increasing his learning, Gian – who at 14 and 6’7” had already trained with the San Miguel Beermen – joined a local basketball camp, knowing that, if he made the Mythical Team, he would be sent to China.
In China, he was spotted by a coach of the Golden State Warriors, who found it easier to communicate with Gian, who spoke very fluent English and was intent on finding a school where he could pursue both his studies and basketball.
“A few weeks later, we were surprised when we got a phone call from Desert Christian,” recalls Gian’s mother, Mary Ann. “We were asking ourselves if this was it. It turned out to be a dream come true.”
Gian made an immediate impact on the Desert Christian Conquerors in his two years there. Before he arrived, The Conquerors were a woeful one win, eleven loss squad. In league play this season, they went 13 and one, with Gian averaging a hefty 16.6 points and 11.7 rebounds. More importantly, Gian was an A+ student, carrying a 4.65 grade point average.
“My parents always told me that, when you have something to do, do it right away,” said Chiu, who has already advanced some of his first-year college subjects (all A’s). “So when I have a project, I finish it as soon as possible, then I can do anything else I want, and just spend the rest of the time refining it, if I have to.”
Gian was heavily recruited, but settled for the Oberlin Yeoman, which is known to many people as a music and arts school in the North Coast Athletic Conference, for two reasons. First, newly appointed head coach Isaiah Cavao promised to build the team around the 18-year old center. Four seniors graduated (two of them honored as All-NCAA selection members). But the team’s tallest player last year was only 6’5”. But that wasn’t what appealed to Gian the most.
“My main reason for picking Oberlin is that 98 percent of its graduates get their first choice of medical school,” Chiu told The STAR. “I really want to have the opportunity to go to Johns Hopkins.”
When he was in grade school, Gian decided he wanted to be a doctor to help people. He’s already decided on internal medicine and diagnostics as his specialization. So far, his aptittude for his studies has matched his great height.
“He’s a model student and a dedicated athlete,” says Kirk Collier, who trained Gian when he was younger. “Whatever he decides to do with his life, I wouldn’t bet against him.”
True enough, Chiu runs cross-country to stay in shape in the off-season (they aren’t allowed to touch a basketball at all), and has even tried American football. He realizes that he’s at the start of the new trend in basketball, where the best big men are no longer the slow, bulky centers of old, but the leaner, more athletic types who are stronger than they look, like number one NBA draft pick Greg Oden.
Gian was asked, what he would do if an NBA team knocked on his door midway through college. Given the fact that he can also play both forward spots, this is a distinct possibility.
“If that possibility comes up, then maybe I can play for a few years save up enough to put myself through medical school,” Gian admits. “And if other schools talk to me, I’ll take it one year at a time. I’d also love to play for the national team, as long as it doesn’t disrupt my studies at this point.”
So far, so good. Each year seems to have gotten better for the young player, who has the luxury of choosing a future between becoming an imposing Filipino presence in the NBA, or becoming one in the medical profession.
(source: philstar 7/14/07)
He is anything you can ask for from a young kid, a basketball coach's dream player, as a parent, a son you can be proud of, as an academic professor, a bright A+ student, to all young filipino aspiring basketball players an "almost" perfect model, a new breed of filipino athlete, the very best that could ever happen in this generation. This young guy could do it all...he is the next big thing, a real deal in deed.
Last edited by dreamwalker; 07-13-2007 at 07:34 PM.
No offense, but this should be with the thread titled The Next Great Brown Hope.