In this Philippine name, the middle name or maternal family name is Forster and the surname or paternal family name is Paras.
Kobe Lorenzo Forster Paras (born September 19, 1997) is a Filipino basketball player who played college basketball in the United States.
He played for the Philippine 3x3 basketball team. He committed to play in the United States at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), but withdrew after the university's admissions department determined he did not meet their academic requirements. Instead, he played his freshman year for the Creighton Bluejays in 2016–17 before transferring to Cal State Northridge where he redshirted. He is the son of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Benjie Paras.
High school career
Paras prepped at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, CA before playing his senior year at Middlebrooks Academy. In high school, he was an honor roll student, a member of the National Honor Society, a Star Scholar Honoree and a summa cum laude graduate. At Cathedral, he averaged 15.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals as a junior and was an All-State nominee, First Team All-Del Rey League and ranked the 24th-best player in California by CalHiSports. Helped lead Cathedral to the Regional Championship game (State Final 4) and the team finished ranked No. 9 in the state and No. 1 in Division 3A of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). In 2015-16, Paras played his senior campaign with Middlebrooks Academy where he earned a McDonald's All-American Game nomination and the PEC-6 Conference MVP Award and helped lead Middlebrooks to the regular season PEC-6 Conference championship. Participated in several elite basketball showcases, including Adidas Nations and the Adidas All-American Camp. Also played travel basketball with Compton Magic on the Adidas grassroots circuit and was selected to the Adidas All-American Camp and the international elite showcase Adidas Nations. A former four-star recruit by Scout.com as well as a three-star prospect by ESPN.com and Rivals.com.
Paras entered Cathedral High School in Los Angeles in the middle of the 2013-14 school year where he played for the school's basketball team, the Phantoms. Prior to entering Cathedral, Paras attended La Salle Greenhills in the Philippines where he also played for the institution's basketball team. However, Paras decided against playing for the Phantoms for the 2015-16 school year. He would have only been eligible to play for the Phantoms until the first semester due to an eight semester limit. The eligibility limitation was due to the difference between academic years in the Philippines and the United States. He instead decided to play for Middlebrooks Academy prep team for his final year in high school while continuing to attend Cathedral. Middlebrooks is not regulated by California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) regulation, which allowed Paras to avoid the conflict between school years.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Quezon City, Philippines||Cathedral High School||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||Oct 11, 2014|
|Recruiting star ratings:Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 74|
|Overall recruiting rankings:|
Paras committed to attend college at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and play for their Bruins basketball team. In October 2015, he signed a National Letter of Intent to join the team under coach Steve Alford, and later formally signed on November 12, 2015. However, on June 30, 2016, Paras withdrew from UCLA after failing to meet their academic requirements. Middlebrooks stated that Paras was a 100% academic qualifier for a division 1 college through the NCAA Eligibility Center. Eighty Division 1 schools expressed interest in signing Paras.
On July 18, 2016, the Creighton University Bluejays announced they had signed Paras. Paras was the first Filipino to join the program. In 15 games with Creighton last season, Paras totaled 20 points and 15 rebounds in 70 total minutes on the floor. Scored a season-high six points in 12 minutes of action against Longwood on Dec. 9. Also appeared in Creighton's NCAA opening round contest against Rhode Island where he scored three points and collected a rebound in two minutes. After finishing his freshman season and failing to secure a regular playing role, Paras subsequently withdrew from the school, on April 29, 2017.
Cal State Northridge
On May 9, 2017, Paras announced, via his Twitter account, that he verbally committed to play for the Matadors, under coach Reggie Theus. Paras would have to redshirt his first year of eligibility, due to NCAA transfer rules. However in March 9, 2018, Paras announced that he would be leaving Cal State to pursue a professional career. Paras' former school Middlebrooks Academy linked his decision to the firing of Cal State coach Theus and athletic director Brandon Martin.
Paras was part of the Philippine national team that participated at the 2013 SEABA Under-16 Championship.
He was also part of the Philippine national team that participated at the 2014 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship that finished fifth, wherein he scored 27 points en route to a 113-105 overtime victory against Japan.
The Philippine national team was looking to include Paras in the senior national team as early as 2015. He was included in the initial line up for the national squad which was set to participate at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, although he was not in the final lineup. Paras expressed openness to play for the national team provided that it would not conflict his commitments in the United States.
He joined the Philippine national team which participated at the 2017 William Jones Cup.He also played for the country in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. Paras played sparingly in the Jones Cup and a scoreless 3:37 minutes in for the first game of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Games against Thailand. However, he bounced back strong in succeeding games, and helped the Philippines cop its 18th SEA Games basketball gold medal on Saturday, August 26, with a 94-55 thrashing of Indonesia in the gold medal match at the MABA Stadium. Paras averaged 11.4 points, including a tournament-high 20 markers in a 95-point win over Myanmar. He found his rhythm and naturally pulled several dunk parties through the tournament and even in the final, where he was also a perfect 6-of-6 from the field for 14 points.
3x3 national team
In 3x3 basketball, Paras represented the Philippines at the 2013 and 2015 FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Championship. While the national team failed to win the main 3x3 tournament at both editions, He won the slam dunk championships also on both occasions.
Paras represented the Philippines in the 2017 FIBA 3x3 World Cup on June 17 to 21, 2017 in Nantes, France. Paras was named player of the day on June 18, 2017 following a win against Romania and a loss to France. They finished the tournament at 11th place.
Paras is the son of Filipino basketball star and actor Benjie, a two-time PBAMVP and the only player in PBA history to be named Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season, and former actress Jackie Forster. Paras' older brother, Andre, played college basketball in the Philippines and is now an actor. He also has two half-brothers from his father's second marriage, Riley and Sam, and two half-brothers and a half-sister from his mother's second marriage.
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Filipino amateur basketball star Kobe Paras has decided to go pro.
The decision comes a few days after former NBA player and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) coach Reggie Theus, along with athletic director Brandon Martin, were fired. The two were engaged in an altercation after Theus, who was the Matadors' head coach for the past five seasons with a 53-105 overall record, was informed he was being relieved of his duties.
According to a press release released by Middlebrooks Academy, the firing of Theus and Martin "has set the stage for Kobe Paras to test the waters and as of today, has decided to enter the professional world of basketball."
Theus files battery complaint against CSUN AD
Reggie Theus, who was fired as head coach of Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, was involved in a heated altercation with athletic director Brandon Martin after being told he was being let go, a source told ESPN.
Kobe's dad, PBA legend Benjie Paras, said he supports his son's decision.
"My son is taking one of the hardest steps in his journey to date and embracing full manhood. Kobe was brave enough to leave home and forge his way in the United States when he attended Cathedral High School & Middlebrooks Academy. He has fought through continuous adversity at the collegiate level and now he is continuing to challenge himself with this decision," said the older Paras, who is the lone Rookie MVP of the Philippine Basketball Association.
"As it will not be easy, he has the full support of his family to embark upon this journey and see where it leads him. Kobe is mature enough to handle this decision and knows his country is behind him," he added.
The 20-year-old Paras is set to begin intense training to improve his game before showcasing his skills to professional teams and scouts. The statement also said he will also build a "professional brand development team" to pursue endorsement opportunities.
Paras' former coach, William Middlebrooks, said "the decision to go pro is the easier part" and that "the real work starts now."
"He knows it and now has to set his mind in the direction where it's go hard or go home. He has #teammiddlebrooks on his side and we will do everything within our reach to support him," Middlebrooks said.
If Paras changes his mind, however, CSUN will be more than willing to take him back, the statement read.
"Kobe is in great academic as well as behavioral standing with CSUN and will be welcomed back if he decides not to sign with an agent and play collegiate basketball for the 2018-19 season."
Paras previously suited up for Gilas Pilipinas in a few international tournaments and has been a staple for the Philippine team in FIBA 3x3 competitions.