Clyde Drexler Challenge Takes Manila By Storm
By sarahhecht Posted in: clydedrexler
Former Trail Blazer and NBA Legend Clyde “The Glide” Drexler left his mark on the city of Manila in the Philippines last week. The 10-time all-star represented the league during the NBA Madness Philippines 2011. Joined by the BlazerDancers
and the Orlando Magic Dancers, he shared enthusiasm for the sport during the weeklong festivities.
From the Team Spirit Festival and the Coors Light Pop-A-Shot Challenge to the NBA Cares Read to Achieve event and finally the Clyde Drexler Challenge, the NBA ambassador is thrilled with his experience in the Philippines. Having traveled to multiple countries as a representative of the NBA in a similar capacity, Drexler’s shock at the fans in Manila was nothing short of overwhelming.
“Getting the chance to experience a new culture here in Manila, my first time here in the Philippines, and experiencing and sharing the love of basketball with new fans and I’m impressed by how much they do know and how much they love the game,” Drexler said of his time in Manila. “They absolutely love basketball. They know more about it than probably we do. They know all the history and the facts from way back in the days.”
Focusing on hoops, the Clyde Drexler Challenge—a series of basketball drills—headlined the final event. A week-long tour of universities, schools and malls presented the opportunity for locals to participate in the preliminary rounds—housed in the form of a basketball clinic led by “The Glide” himself.
“It’s a combination of skill sets, kind of like what you see at the All-Star Game Skills Challenge. These kids are very quick, they’re athletic and they love, love, basketball, that’s the common ingredient,” Drexler said. “So we put them through a series of drills for time and eventually it’ll come down to, from all of the universities and schools that we visit, it will come down to one champion.”
For Drexler, the clinics—and ultimately the entire NBA Madness tour— are about giving back to the people. His love for the game and gift of motivational speaking presented the legend the opportunity to impart words of wisdom on the young NBA enthusiasts.
“I give them words of inspiration, words of motivation and teach them a little bit about the game and let them know that there’s nothing they cannot do no matter where you’re from,” Drexler said.
“The NBA truly is a global game.”