Cebu Pride Filipino-American teen basketball sensation Caelum Harris will be joining the Gilas Pilipinas National Team Program in preparation for the 2023 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup to be co-hosted by the Philippines.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced that the 16-year-old wunderkind from Nashville, Tennessee whose family hails from Maragondon, Cebu will be the latest addition to the national team when he joins in early March 2022.
Harris has also shared that he accepted the SBP’s invitation to join the national team on his official Instagram account.
“This is a huge honor, not only for me but for my family here in the States and in Cebu,” Harris said in an Instagram post on February 17, 2022.
“I’ll make you proud Philippines, and I’ll see you soon,” he added.
Harris, a 6-foot-7 forward, will be part of the national team as Gilas Pilipinas prepares for multiple tournaments in the lead-up to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“We’re very seriously building for the future and having Caelum is just the first step in this direction,” SBP President Al Panlilio said in a statement.
Gilas Men coach Chot Reyes said he also looks forward to Harris becoming a very valuable member of the Philippine national pool.
Harris has enjoyed summers in Cebu and has been brought up to embrace his Filipino heritage has already acquired his Philippine passport and is eligible to play as a local for the national team.
Caelum Harris is currently a sophomore at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tennessee.
The Philippines hosted the third and final window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
The Gilas Pilipinas Men are now gearing up for the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, which will take place from February 24 to 28 in Manila.
Japan B. League’s Filipino imports Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, and Juan Gomez de Liano are still part of the Gilas 22-player pool listed on the FIBA website.
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