Shooting hoops and bleeding blueBy Krista Rodriguez |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Being part of a champion team is a feat in itself, and Ateneo Blue Eagle Von Pessumal, with his dapper look and sharp skills, continues to live up to his team’s winning tradition.
Von got to love basketball when his dad, a college basketball player himself, brought him along on basketball nights with friends. Shooting hoops at seven years old, Von began watching the Blue Eagles play when he was in grade school. Since then, he had wanted to become a Blue Eagle himself. “I wanted to be part of the winning tradition and I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself,” Von says.
Having grown up with the sport, Von never stopped loving and playing basketball. “I really love basketball because it’s about a collection of individual talents playing as one, with one goal in mind: To win,” he says. “Beyond being merely a sport of strength and strategy, basketball builds a team where each part is as valuable as the whole.”
So little time
The Blue Eagles train as often as five times a week. But even on off days, the team members keep themselves in good shape by constantly working out.
That leaves Von with limited time for anything else. “I have less time for family, friends, school and the like. I still try to balance everything out, but basketball is definitely one of my top priorities,” says Von. Whenever he trains, he always focuses on what needs the most attention—whether it is to stretch, get rehab or lift weights. But not a day goes by when Von, whose signature move is the 3-point shot, does not practice his shooting either before or after training.
How does Von balance basketball and school work? He says that it is all about good ol’ time management. “When I know that something has to be done, whether it’s about basketball or school, I’ll find a way to get it done,” Von says.
But when he has time on his hands, Von just kicks back to watch a movie, read a book or maybe play a video game. “I’m a pretty laid-back kind of guy,” he admits.
Hard work, humility
Humble and diligent, Von can describe how he feels about being a Blue Eagle in one simple word: grateful.
Living his dream day in and day out is something he will always be thankful for. “I also feel really grateful for everyone who has been supporting the team through thick and thin,” he says.
Asked for advice to other aspiring UAAP players, Von cites the two things he himself lives by—work hard and stay humble.
“Working hard will get you to where you want to go, but remaining humble and grounded will keep you there,” he says.
Luis Carlo San Juan
Justine del Rosario