Former NBA player and three-time All-star Glen Rice is in the country to celebrate the inaugural NBA Filipino Heritage Week (Jamil Buergo)
NBA legend Glen Rice is back in the country as he joined local NBA hoops fans to celebrate the first ever NBA Filipino Heritage Week, a special event of the NBA that promotes Filipino culture in some of its games.
The three-time NBA All-star took part in several activities for the NBA Filipino Heritage Week over the past few days in the country highlighted by a special NBA Cares basketball clinic together with Barangay Ginebra playmaker L.A. Tenorio for the underprivileged youth.
Rice, who won a NBA championship with the Lakers in 2000, concluded his visit in the country with Filipino NBA fans in the Globe Amphitheatre for a two-day NBA live viewing party that featured the Heat-Timberwolves game last Saturday and the Warriors-Bucks game on Sunday.
“It’s good to back here this time to celebrate Filipino Heritage Week” says Rice. “Since the moment I arrived and as I step down from the plane, my experience has been really awesome. The hospitality, the food and of course the passion of Filipinos for the game is one of the best” claims Rice.
As part of the NBA Filipino Heritage week, the Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat (coached by Filipino-American Eric Spoelstra) will have Filipino-themed activations in their games including musical performances, food, and giveaways.
“The first NBA Filipino Heritage Week is the perfect opportunity for the NBA to celebrate the support of our Filipino fans around the world” said NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson. “The activities in the Philippines, Miami and Oakland will showcase the country’s vibrant culture and passion for basketball” Singson adds.
Glen Rice’s first visit in the country was in 2010 where he took part in the NBA Asia Challenge exhibition game together former PBA players and other NBA legends. It was a game he personally will never forget as he got to meet and play with the best Filipino shooter Allan Caidic, who at the age of 47 scored 54 points in that game highlighted by 14 three pointers in just 24 minutes. “That game I’ll never forget. I’m always a fan of shooters and to me it was such an honor to see a player like ‘The Triggerman’ shoot threes like he did seven years ago” explains Rice, who led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage in ’96-97 season.
Meeting Allan Caidic was the icing in the cake of his second visit as the two met again and watched the Warriors-Bucks game together in the NBA viewing party in BGC.
“I love it here. Coming here the first time I never knew I had a fan base here and I was surprised how Filipinos are knowledgeable and passionate for the game of basketball” said Rice, who is one of the few NBA players to win a NCAA and NBA championship in their career.
Now on his second visit to the country, he’s already looking forward to his next visit. “I hope to be back. That’s what I’ve been telling the guys who brought me here. This time to experience more the Philippine culture and visit more places.” added Rice.