By Lydia V. Solis
LOS ANGELES – FilAm basketball celebrity Kobe Paras will play for the Matadors starting with the 2018-2019 season.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the CSUN (California State University Northridge) family,” said Paras. “This is going to be a great move for me and I am really happy to be part of a great basketball program. Thank you, CSUN,” he added, “for making me feel like family from the very beginning. Go Matadors!”
“I’m excited to coach Kobe and mentor him both on and off the court,” stated Reggie Theus, who was both an NBA All Star and NCAA All American. “I’m thrilled to have him part of the Matadors family,” he added. “He’s a super athlete, with a great motor and high character, that has the ability to score in several different ways. I think he has the potential to be one of the best student-athletes in the Big West Conference and I’m expecting big things out of him on the floor.
CSUN is in the Big West Conference featuring schools like CalPoly, CalState Fullerton, CalState Long Beach, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
Paras prepped at Cathedral High School here before playing his senior year at Middlebrooks Academy, both schools about 30 minutes from CSUN. At Cathedral, he averaged 15 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals as a junior and was an All-State nominee, First Team All-Del Rey League and ranked the 24th best player in California by CalHiSports. He helped lead Cathedral to the Regional Championship game and the team finished ranked #9 in the state and #1 in Division 3A of the California Interscholastic Federation.
At Middlebrooks Academy he earned a McDonald’s All-American Game nomination and the PEC-6 Conference MVP Award and helped lead Middlebrooks to the regular season PEC-6 Conference Championship.
In high school, according to a CSUN spokesperson, he was an honor roll student, a member of the National Honor Society, a Star Scholar Honoree and a summa cum laude graduate. He was rated as a four-star prospect by Scout and a three-star rating by 247 Sports, Rivals and ESPN. A four-star rating is awarded to a prospect that is considered one of the next 250 best players, ranked No. 51 to 300.
Paras competed for the Philippine National Team in the FIBA 3x3 U-138 World Championships in 2013 and 2015, where he emerged as the event’s back-to-back champion in the Slam Dunk competition. He also played for the Philippine National Team in 2014 at the FIBA Asia U-18 Men’s Championship.
The 6-foot 6-guard 200-pound athlete from Manila, initially signed with UCLA, but withdrew in June 2016. Late in July 2016, he joined the Bluejays of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where he played sparingly in 15 games of Creighton U’s 35 games. Paras totaled 20 points and 15 rebounds in 70 total minutes on the floor. He scored a season-high six points in 12 minutes of action against Longwood Lancers (Longwood University in Farmville, Va.) He also appeared in Creighton’s NCAA opening round contest against the Rhode Island Rams where he scored three points and collected a rebound in two minutes.
After one season Paras made a ‘critical decision’ to return to California, and has joined the Matadors of CSUN. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he will sit out this season.