ONE of the celebrated young guns in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Scottie Thompson of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings has accomplished quite a lot and signified his readiness to take his burgeoning career to another level.
The latest brand ambassador in the country of sports drink Gatorade, Mr. Thompson, the fifth pick in the 2015 PBA rookie draft, shared that the latest feather in his cap only serves to inspire him some more to explore his basketball potential to the fullest and live his dreams as he envisioned it growing up in Davao.
“When Gatorade contacted me about being one of their brand ambassadors in the Philippines I was really excited. Growing up I dreamt of being part of the brand joining those that I saw on TV like Michael Jordan and other top athletes. And now I’m here,” said Mr. Thompson, 24, during the official signing and announcement of his being a brand ambassador on Monday at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City.
He went on to say that while he is happy to be part of the Gatorade family, joining the likes of Barangay Ginebra teammate LA Tenorio, collegiate standout Ricci Rivero and volleyball star Alyssa Valdez, he knows that there are responsibilities that go with it, something he is determined to live up to.
“I know being part of Gatorade a lot is expected from me, to be on top of my game and embody everything that the brand stands for. I am going to work hard to repay their trust and represent Gatorade as best as I can,” said Mr. Thompson, a former National Collegiate Athletic Association most valuable player while playing for the Perpetual Help Altas.
Three years since being drafted in the pros, Mr. Thompson said he could not have written a better start to a career in the PBA.
To date, the do-it-all player has been a winner through and through — a member of the All-Rookie Team in 2016, a three-time All-Star and two-time champion — made all the more special by playing for the most popular team in the league.
“I’m happy to be playing for Ginebra. There is pressure, of course. But I’m enjoying myself and doing everything I can to make the team happy and so do the fans who have given so much support to me since I entered the league,” he said.
“The excitement is always there for me every time I step on the court. I always follow what my veterans tell me. I learn from them because I know what they teach me I’ll be able to use them for my career moving forward,” added Mr. Thompson.
Asked by BusinessWorld for the rough campaign they are having so far in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup where they are sporting a 1-5 record midway into it, Mr. Thompson said it has been tough but they are not about to give up.
“It was a tough loss for us. We really wanted to win against San Miguel and prepared hard for it. But it is what it is. It happens so we just have to keep moving forward. Like what Coach Tim [Cone] said we have to stay positive. Treat it as one game at a time. So from here on, it’s all important games for us,” he said, referring to their 107-94 overtime loss to the Beermen on June 3.
He also shared his thoughts on what happened to PBA rookie Kiefer Ravena and the importance of being aware of what athletes put into their bodies.
“It’s really a wake-up call for all of us athletes here in the country to mind what we take in our body. It’s just sad that it had to be Kiefer. He’s a great guy, great player. But I know he can handle it. He has a strong character. Just the same let what happened to him be a lesson for everybody,” he said.
National player Ravena, who plays for the NLEX Road Warriors, was suspended by FIBA for 18 months after failing a doping test stemming from World Anti-Doping Agency banned substances found in the pre-workout supplement he drank prior to one of the games of Gilas Pilipinas early this year.
Mr. Thompson further said he is in favor of including tests for performance-enhancing drugs as part of the PBA’s drug policy. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo