Tuesday, July 17, 2007

By: Erika Tapalla

QUEZON CITY, Philippines---With his deep blue eyes, dirty blonde ‘do, and toned physique, Kirk Long can easily make girls swoon. But he’s not just a pretty boy. He’s Ateneo de Manila University’s basketball recruit on full scholarship, anxious to spread his wings as a Blue Eagle in Season 70 of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Once the word was deemed official, Long was hyped up, leaving university students at the edge of their seats for a chance to see this guy in action.

Now that UAAP basketball season has commenced, Long was barely seen where he was expected to be – on court. “Coach just wants to wait and doesn’t want to put me in that position where I’m gonna fail and be discouraged. I still have a long way to go, have a lot to learn, so I’ll wait for my time to come,” he says.

Since as far as Long remembers, he has always loved basketball. As a child he frequently played with toy basketballs and mini-hoops given to him by his father. Growing up in the Philippines where basketball is the favorite pastime and most popular sport further ingrained the sport in his life.

Although it is apparent that basketball is very important to Long, there’s more to him than his long strides, fast hands, and high jumps. “I’m learning to be a well-rounded person, focus on my studies and have some quiet spiritual time cause putting all your trust and hope in basketball is not enough.”

Kirk Long

Transferring from Kansas, USA to the Philippines at two and a half years, his parents first came to the country as missionaries to spread the Gospel and Jesus Christ as the personal savior. Long’s family has established a home for street kids at Valley Golf, Antipolo. “I try to have a good testimony with God, ask for forgiveness for all my sins, and keep good relationships with people around me both on and off-court,” says Long.

He has formed strong relationships and highly values friendship. “I guess I’m an emotional guy,” he says somewhat bashfully, “When things don’t go right, when my friends leave, it tends to carry over to other things and I have to learn how to control my emotions so I can focus.” With a boyish smile, Long states he is still in the process of managing the division of his time to balance everything. “It’s always fun to go out with friends and hang out, but I have to make sure I use my time wisely.”

Rising popularity and amazing skills aside, he’s still an ordinary guy anyone can easily talk to whether it be about his nonexistent love life or basketball.

PHOTOS BY Erika Tapalla
VIDEO BY Erika Tapalla, edited by Ayo Supangco


Anonymous said...

the article was good and the video made it even better. Long is lucky to have been written about and promoted by you guys. :D keep it up. :D

Leo Magno said...

erika, pls take out the Chalk cover image, we have no permission to post it there