Basketball

Danny Ildefonso mulling offers from NU, Ateneo high school to become skills coach after PBA retirement

Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

With Danny Ildefonso no longer set to play in the PBA in the upcoming season after being released by the Meralco Bolts, a development the PBA club confirmed, the two-time MVP and member of the league’s 40 Greatest Players will be mulling his future – though he’s not about ready to leave the sport of basketball just yet.

The 6-foot-5 veteran slotman told Fraulein Olavario of News5 that he has offers from both National University and the Ateneo de Manila juniors team – the defending champions of their respective divisions in the UAAP – to become part of their coaching staffs as a skills coach.

Both NU and Ateneo are schools that are close to Ildefonso’s heart.

Ildefonso was a star player of the Bulldogs during the team’s dark days, back when it was still considered as the perennial whipping boys of the UAAP.

But his two sons, Shaun and Sian Dave, are both playing for the Ateneo high school program and Ildefonso, as a father, is carefully considering in which school he would like to be involved.

“Yung dream ko lang skills coach. Yun ang pinag-iisipan ko. May offer sa kin pero sa schools. Yung alma mater ko, nag-usap kami, dati pa yun. Nag-usap kami ulit ni Coach Eric Altamirano na kung gusto ko nga daw doon sa NU,” Ildefonso shared.

“Gusto ko rin pero tinatanong ko sa mga anak ko, siyempre kasi mga anak ko nasa Ateneo. May offer din kasi yung Ateneo sa juniors. Pinag-iisipan ko kung saan at saka saan mas gusto ng mga anak ko at kung saan ako mas makakatulong sa mga anak ko,” he added.

His sons are hoping their father could join them at Ateneo, not just to be able to be closer to him, but for the benefit of their teammates as well.

“Tinanong niya sa kin the other day pero malaking blessing talaga pag sa Ateneo kasi everyday na nasa practice siya so mas makaka-focus siya. Magaling siya maging post teacher kaya malaking help siya sa bigs namin,” Shaun said.

“Siyempre gusto ko sa school ko para ma-improve yung mga teammates ko,” added Sian Dave.

Ildefonso is known for mentoring June Mar Fajardo in his first year in the PBA back before the 6-foot-10 center won back-to-back PBA MVP awards in the past two seasons.

He was also a mentor to incoming PBA rookie Marion Magat, a 6-foot-7 discovery of his from an inter-barangay league he organized in Urdaneta, Pangasinan that he later brought to NU.

‘Lakay’ is happy to be able to play that role to younger players and is hoping he can continue to do so even after his career is over.

“Oo, malaking bagay yun kasi nasa basketball ka pa rin tsaka importante dun kapag may mga ganun nakakapag-advise ka sa kanila tsaka nakakatulong ka sa kanila,” he said.

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