Kobe Paras is one of the most notable prep prospects in the United States while simultaneously serving as one of the top basketball players of any age in the Philippines. That dual existence may have finally become too difficult to juggle, with Paras notifying the coaching staff at Los Angeles’ Cathedral High that he will not compete for the program during his senior season.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Paras, who has committed to UCLA, will instead compete for the Middlebrooks Academy basketball team, which is not governed by CIF regulations. That’s critical, as the motivating factor behind Paras’ departure is allegedly a discrepancy between the academic calendar in the Philippines and the school year in California.
“Due to the difference in academic calendars between the United States and the Philippines, Kobe would exhaust his eight semesters of eligibility at the end of the 1st semester this year,” Cathedral boys basketball coach William Middlebrooks told the Times. “His family made decision not to have him play for Cathedral for only half a basketball season.”
Middlebrooks also confirmed the move on Twitter, when asked by a Cathedral fan.
Paras’ departure is not only a loss for Cathedral, but also for Southern California high school basketball at large. Paras was one of the most explosive and skilled players in the state, and had the ability to take over a game on his own. At the same time, he’s a very proud Filipino, and has competed for any division of the Philippines national team that he could when asked in recent years, notably winning the Dunk Contest and the 3×3 basketball world championships in early June. He was also one of the distinct standouts at the Adidas Nations event earlier in August.
Now he’ll bring his athleticism and shot making to a prep program that goes virtually unnoticed. He will continue to attend classes at Cathedral, but suddenly the school’s fans have to come to grips with the fact that he’ll never slip on one of their basketball jerseys again.