ARIEL John “AJ” Edu is taking a different route to the NBA than Kai Sotto and the former believes the path he’s chosen is the right one.
“Ever since I picked up a basketball my main goal is to make it to the NBA and I believe I’m going in the right direction,”said Edu on the Power and Play program on Radyo Singko last Saturday.
“Right now, it’s as simple as me working hard and I believe it (getting to the NBA) can happen,” added Edu.
The 6-foot-10 Fil-Nigerian, whose mother Josie Litang is from Surigao City, is currently a medical redshirt at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
Edu maintains he does not have any plan of cutting short his college stint and instead is bent on finishing his studies where he has been a consistent Dean’s Lister at the university’s College of Business and Innovation.
At the same time, he wants to absorb everything he can about the game from his coaches led by Tod Kowalczyk.
“I felt it’s the right decision for me to take the college route. It worked out really well in my first year,”said Edu.
“I’ve been blessed to play decent minutes and have a great coaching staff who believes in me and helps me develop.” .
In contrast, Sotto has opted to skip college and signed up with the Select Squad in the NBA G-League.
Edu could just wish his former Batang Gilas frontline partner all the best. “He’s a very, very talented player who I’m sure just scratched the surface of his potential,” he said of Sotto.
“We’re all very excited to see what’s going to happen in the future.”
That should also hold true for Edu whose all-around game has caught the attention of national officials, including former Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao.
“Edu and Kai should be shoo-ins for the 2023 national team for the FIBA World Cup),”Guiao has repeatedly espoused,
In the meantime, Edu is focused on completing his comeback from the torn angerior cruciate ligament on his right knee, an injury he suffered during the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Greece.
“Right now I’m at around 80 to 85 percent,” said Edu.