Jericho Cruz tells youth to never give up

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JERICHO Cruz, who visited Saipan recently, talked with the youth of the Rollers Basketball Club at the Ada Gym and told them not to give up on their dream of becoming a pro basketball player.

Cruz used to play for the G-Rollers on island. While pursuing a nursing degree in the Philippines, he joined a village basketball league before playing for the Rizal Technological University which competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Cruz said the level of competition was “crazy.” He added, “It was hard to learn but eventually I adopted the system.” He eventually worked his way up to his team’s starting five. When his team made it to the finals, he was named to the league’s mythical five.

He was later recruited by the Adamson Soaring Falcons. In 2014, he was drafted by Rain or Shine, one of the teams of the Philippine Basketball Association.

“It’s all about hard work, dedication and perseverance,” Cruz said. “It’s all you need in life. Keep chasing your dreams.”

In an interview, Cruz said he wanted to “help coach Joe Diaz motivate the kids, and I’m really happy to be back on island. I told the kids, if you want it, you just got to go and get it. If someone like me, who came from a small island, can do it, you can do it too. We are all the same. It is just a matter of how hard you work, and how hard you want it. Never give up and you will achieve your dream.”

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