Ateneo Blue Eagles tap Fil-Am guard as recruiting spree goes on
MANILA, Philippines – Like other schools stacking up their cards with an off-season recruiting spree, reigning UAAP champion Ateneo has also silently built a core for its future following the departure of key players Third Ravena, Isaac Go, Adrian Wong, and Mike and Matt Nieto.
Coming off an undefeated 82nd season for their third straight title, the Blue Eagles added another highly-touted Fil-American talent in 6-foot-5 guard Chris Koon.
Koon, 19, will join Fil-Iltalian Gab Gomez and Fil-Kiwi Jordan Perez as Ateneo's latest overseas recruits along with local catches Dave Ildefonso and Forthsky Padrigao.
The two-time John R. Wooden High School Player of the Year in US said he’s up for the challenge of living up to expectation and pressure with the country’s top collegiate squad today.
“Three-time champions in a row. I mean, it’s a lot of pressure but it’s something I especially want. I love to win. So, with this program, with the winning culture, it’s definitely exciting,” said Koon, whose Filipina mother hails from Novaliches, Quezon City.
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin expects Koon to smoothly strut his staff in the UAAP after anchoring Rolling Hills Prep to three straight CIF Southern Section championships and a CIF state title in California behind averages of 16.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists
“Chris can play multiple positions, variety of skills. But one of his greatest attributes is his basketball IQ. He's very smart, very tough player, and his transition to our program will be fairly seamless," he said.
Backstopping Koon and the rest of the new Blue Eagles are championship holdovers Ange Kouame, SJ Belangel, Will Navarro and Gian Mamuyac along with Gilas Pilipinas cadet and incoming rookie Dwight Ramos.