8-year-old hoopster dreams big

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At the age of 8, Andrei Derek Tenorio has already begun his journey toward his goal, which is to become a professional basketball player.

Derek was only 10 months old when he first held a basketball, his father Dexter Tenorio recalled. Dexter and Derek’s uncle, Alex Lauron, have passed on their passion for basketball to the young boy.


Andrei Derek Tenorio works on his dribbling skills at the San Antonio Basketball Court. Photo provided by Dexter Tenorio

“He has been dribbling and shooting the ball since he was a toddler,” Dexter said. “He has great potential.”

At age 7 Andrei started training with his father and later joined the NMI Rollers Basketball Association. Since then, he has been participating in friendly tournaments and practice sessions to develop his basketball skills.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has suspended all sporting events on island, Andrei continues to train on weekdays. “It is also important to have rest days, so I rest over the weekend,” he said.

“I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses,” he added. “My speed, I can say, is what I’m good at, and my footwork is what I need to improve.” 



 From left, Mykiel Josh, Andrei Derek, Adrien Dylan, and their father, Dexter Tenorio pose for group photo after a training session at the San Antonio Basketball Court. Photo provided by Dexter Tenorio

He added, “My father and uncle, Dexter Tenorio and Alex Lauron, provide drills and exercises for me so I can work on my weaknesses. I do workouts such as speed ladder for footwork, and air squats and box jumps to work on my core and vertical. I still have a long way to go.”

Andrei trains with his brother, Mykiel Josh.

“Make your family a motivation to everything,” their father, Dexter, said. “We try to be fit and healthy, not only to look good but also to live a long life to be with each other as a family. I consider myself as their training partner not as a trainer. We work out together, sweat together, and learn together. Work hard and discipline are the keys to reach one’s goals.”

Andrei said he “would like to thank my other uncles, Jerry Diaz and James Lee, for also supporting me and giving me advice. My uncle Alex makes sure that I am focused and that I eat right. I’m also grateful to coaches Mike Mercado and Joe Diaz for giving me an opportunity to be part of the NMI Rollers Basketball Association. And also to my dad, Dexter, of course, who supports me 100%.”


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