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Erik Spoelstra – The First Filipino in the NBA May 9, 2008

Posted by C0Y in People, Sports.
Tags: , , ,

Erik Spoelstra - first Filipino in the NBA

It was every Filipinos dream to have atleast one Filipino in the most prestigious Basketball League in the planet, the NBA. And a few weeks ago, that dream became a reality.

His name is Erik Spoelstra, the new Head Coach of the Miami Heat.

Ok, so he’s not a player. But nevertheless, he’s gonna be a big name in the NBA, and we’ll probably be proud that he was a Filipino.

He started his career with the HEAT as the team’s Video Coordinator in charge of preparing scouting tapes for the team and slowly made his way up as the Heat’s assistant coach, but that was until he was named to succeed Pat Riley as head coach of the young, and adjusting Heat team.

Born Nov. 1, 1970, the “Dutch-Irish-Filipino” Spoelstra becomes the NBA’s youngest coach (exactly 69 days younger that Nets coach Lawrence Frank), but he is never new to the game. Erik is (by the way) the son of Jon Spoelstra, a long-time NBA executive who has guided the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets, and this means just one thing. He’s been around the game to understand it.

Among his records (as a player) include playing two seasons as a player/coach for Tus Herten, a team in the professional sports league of Germany, playing starting point guard for the University of Portland for four years and was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.

Now here’s one Filipino we should be proud of.

3 Critical:

  1. Finally One – a lot of Filipino hopefuls have been trying to break entrance to the NBA, but no one seems to come close.
  2. Go Pinoy!!! – that’s what we’re called, and they all know were not stopping towards achievement.
  3. Be An Inspiration – I hope he realizes that he is now, not just an achievement but also an inspiration to every Filipino. He’s hard working is paying, and so can ours.


1. Raymond Townsend - The FIRST Filipino NBA Player (For Real) « 3 Critical - October 6, 2008

[…] months ago, I wrote about coach Erik Spoelstra being the first Filipino in the NBA and how proud we Filipinos are, though he’s just half a Filipino. But here’s the thing […]

2. Jim - April 26, 2009

He is not the Filipino – he is an American.There are a lot of really great basketball coaches and players who were born in the Philippines but who never got the chance – don’t disrespect them by clinging to every successful American that comes along who has some Filipino blood .

3. Ibn Khaldun - July 24, 2009

Raymond Townsend, mother hails from the Batangas, played for the Golden State Warriors. Ricardo Brown drafted by Houston Rockets back in 80’s as well,ended his colorful career back in the (PBA) donning the San Miguel Beermen jersey. Back in the 90’s, Johnny Abarrientos of the Alaska Aces was scouted by the Charlotte Hornets and was to be drafted. But it was his prime in the PBA, that he did not accept the offer.

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