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Prince Factor: Early preparation is key

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SAIPAN hoopster Prince Factor wanted to follow in the footsteps of his friend Jericho Cruz who now plays professionally in the Philippines.

Factor said the first step he took was to play college basketball in the Philippines. He  knew it was going to be a tough challenge. “To be able to actually get out of your comfort zone while competing for a spot against other top athletes is most challenging,” Factor said.

He trained twice a day for two months and  focused on dribbling and conditioning with the help of Rollers coach Joe Diaz. He also kept in touch with Jericho Cruz who shared tips and provided advice.

Factor participated in the Pinoy Youth Dreamers basketball camp with the 670 Sonics basketball team. He also trained with Adamson University, National University and La Salle University in Manila.

Prince Factor, third right, poses with Jerry Cruz, second right, and coaching staff members during a tryout session in the Philippines. Contributed photo

Prince Factor, left, and his teammate Jun Fidelino hold a basketball league championship trophy. Contributed photo 

“I focused on the following objectives: the fundamentals of the game; developing a basketball ‘IQ’ and to actually make plays without even holding the ball. The fundamentals include footwork, read and react, communication, and other factors that do not rely on skill,” he said. 

But Factor's life took a sudden change and he eventually decided to stop chasing his hoop dreams. “I lost the feel for and interest in the sport. I will never lose the love I have for the game. I will still play for the love of the game, but I just don’t see myself competing at a high level.”

For island athletes who would like to pursue sports professionally, Factor said early preparation is key. “That’s what I lacked due to the fact that I was attending college as a full-time student and I was working full-time as well.”

He said preparation takes a lot of effort, energy, determination and time.  “So figure out what your goal is, and once you have done that, make sure to stick to it and do everything you can to achieve your goal. If the people around you tell you otherwise, ignore them. They do not dictate your future — you do.”


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