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As a known strong supporter of charitable organizations, Kobe makes it part of his agenda during visits to connect with kids on all his tours. His second stop for his 2011 Philippine tour was in the refurbished Gawad Kalinga (GK) basketball court in Taguig to give the young athletes of GKs youth developmental program, SIGA, tips on how they can improve their game and be the next basketball superstars in the near future.
“I love being around with kids. I’m eager to see the kids I’ve trained the last time I visited Manila [in 2009],” Kobe said during the press conference held at the Peninsula Hotel in Manila.
There, he also expressed his appreciation for his Filipino fans. “Manila is like a second home to me, my home away from home. I love the fans here who always welcomed me with open arms,” Kobe said.
His next stop after his Taguig visit was an event at Nike Park, The Fort where hundreds of Kobe fans were given the chance to get up-close and personal with the basketball superstar. Kobe was joined by kids who had previously joined the Kobe Basketball Camp in LA for a short Q&A session where he left his fans with inspiring words.
The highlight of Kobe’s one-day visit was the main event where the entire Araneta Coliseum was filled by roaring Kobe fans who braved the traffic just to see the basketball superstar in action. As a treat to his fans, Kobe gave everyone a glimpse of what the Black Mamba does best by coaching an exhibition game between members of Nike sponsored teams of DLSU Green Archers, ADMU Blue Eagles, FEU Tamaraws and Smart Gilas Pilipinas. This first-hand training with Kobe definitely gave these ballers a huge advantage in the on-going collegiate basketball season.
JAMIE MARIE ELONA | AJPRESS MANILA