Fil-Aussie hopes to bring more height to Gilas

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    The boy’s father, Michael Kirkness, told Philstar the process would probably take up to eight weeks, which means the passport could be out by the first week of January. Ethan’s mother, Dinah Blando from Dumaguete, also stands 5’10”. She brought her family to the country for a vacation last year and searched for potential schools in Manila where Ethan could be trained.

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    They have visited San Beda, La Salle, Ateneo and National University for a possible stint with the school’s varsity team but nothing came out from the negotiation. The Kirkness family is hoping for Ethan to join first Batang Gilas, the youth team currently playing in the FIBA Asia Under-16, before a possible stint with Gilas Pilipinas men’s team.

    Mr. Kirkness said they have been following Batang Gilas’ campaign and was ecstatic at its recent victory over China.

    “Yes, we’ve been following their games. They beat China last night and we congratulate them for showing big heart despite their center only standing 6’4”. Imagine, if we can get Ethan playing there,” Ethan’s father said.

    At present, Ethan is playing for Southport High School and with the Gold Coast Seahawks U16 team in Queensland, Australia, but Mr. Kirkness said he is hoping someone would sponsor his son’s entry into the Philippines’ basketball developmental program.

    “He is doing well but we need access to better training. He’s just playing in school and local competition but is very low level,” Mr. Kirkness explained.

    Late last year, Ethan was reported to have trained with former professional player Ren-Ren Ritualo and was able to watch collegiate games in the NCAA and UAAP as well as in the PBA.

    However, the family returned to Australia with Ethan, who was only 12 years old then and standing 6”5’ tall, following his acceptance into the National Performance Program (NPP) of Basketball Australia.(R.Carleon, Knews, PS,) Photo Credit: Facebook/ Scorebox Supreme 360

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    Ethan was only 12 years old in this pic, but already stands 6’5? (Credit: Spin)

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