Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit Manila for Some Awesome Basketball Events

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit Manila for Some Awesome Basketball Events

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit ManilaGordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz

Do you think the basketball craze here hasn’t hit the fever pitch yet? think again! NBA Superstar Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and four-time WNBA Champion and 9-time WNBA All-Star Tina Thompson arrived in the Philippines to add more ‘heat’ to the basketball fever and attended a couple of awesome events from both the KFC and the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA. Wheninmanila.com was fortunate enough to be invited to not one, but TWO basketball-related events!

 

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit Manila for Some Awesome Basketball Events

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit ManilaKFC’s Symon Siman introducing Gordon Hayward to the audience 

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit ManilaGordon Hayward arrives for the KFC – Jr. NBA Shoot-out

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit Manila

The first event we were part of was the one where the Utah Jazz star, Gordon Hayward, dropped by at KFC at SM Mall of Asia for the KFC – Jr. NBA Shoot-out. The 6’8” Utah Jazz Forward arrived at the venue to meet and greet the kids from the Virlanie Foundation.

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit Manila

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit ManilaGordon Hayward and the Virlanie Foundation kids at the shoot-out

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-07Gordon signs a basketball for the kids 

It was a sight to see NBA Player Gordon Hayward interact with the kids and ‘compete’ with them in a shoot-out. Once the contest was done, he gave some items to the lucky kids who played with him at the KFC shoot-out and posed for some pictures.

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-10

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-09Q&A with Gordon Hayward 

The native from Indiana fielded questions from the media and had a lot of interesting answers. One of the highlights of the Q & A segment was his view on the Philippines during his first-ever visit in our country. For Gordon, he’ll never forget the Filipinos and their “undying passion for basketball”. He shared to us that he started to play basketball at age four and it has been a childhood dream for him to play in the NBA. He stated that his height was his initial problem (Gordon was only 5’11” as a freshman until he grew 6’4” the following year) and almost quit basketball, but he persisted to play and it paid off. Another interesting fact Gordon Hayward shared to us is that he’s an avid videogame player and is currently playing League of Legends. 

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-06

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-11Gordon Hayward with the Virlanie Foundation Jr. NBA players

Before he left KFC, Gordon was gracious enough to sign a few autographs and have a group photo-op with the Virlanie Foundation and Jr. NBA kids. After the event ended, however, we were invited to another basketball related event (NBA Cares Clinic) happening at the MOA Music Hall and we were more than eager to accept. At the MOA Music Hall, NBA Cares Basketball Clinic was on its final minutes with WNBA legend Tina Thompson teaching the kids some basic hoops skills alongside Coach Chris Sumner and PBA Legend Jojo Lastimosa. After the mini clinic Tina Thompson and the rest took a group picture with the kids and give them some NBA Cares freebies.

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-12WNBA Legend Tina Thompson and Coach Chris Sumner w/ NBA Cares kids

Both events were heartwarming for me. It may be attributed to the fact that I felt happy for the kids who got to interact with their NBA heroes. Had I been one of those kids who got taught by Tina or got to shoot hoops with Gordon, I’m sure I would have either events embedded in my mind and soul forever. Honestly, it was an honor to cover both events and to see the these basketball superstars up close and personal. 

Gordon-Hayward-and-Tina Thompson-Visit-Manila-When-in-Manila-13Tina Thompson smiles for the camera 

When in Manila would like to thank Symon Siman and KFC Philippines for being gracious hosts for the KFC event and also the people from the Jr. NBA who invited us for the NBA Cares Clinic a few minutes after the KFC shoot-out. This author would also like to thank the athletes themselves, Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson, for dropping by and giving everyone involved in the two events very a memorable weekend (myself included, since I’m still ‘marking out’ after getting to talk to Gordon Hayward for 1-2 interview questions).

Gordon Hayward and Tina Thompson Visit Manila for Some Awesome Basketball Events






Related Stories