WHILE he’s the tallest applicant in the PBA draft at 6-foot-10, former La Salle center James Laput readily admitted he still has a long way to go.
“I’m a solid legit center. That’s the case with me. To the coaches who have seen me at the workouts, thank you to you coaches. (To) the coaches that have yet to see me, I have to say I’ll be giving you my effort. Whatever you want me to be, I’m yours to mold, I’m the project in that way,” Laput said in an episode of Tiebreakertimes’ The Prospects Pod.
“Just ready to become whatever you need me to be for that team whether it’s to be a rebounder, that’s automatic, if I have to rebound I’m 6-foot-10 but whatever it is in the system, I’m a system player. I’m ready,” he added.
The Fil-Aussie Laput, 24, suited up for US NCAA Division II school Young Harris College but opted to play for the Green Archers as a “one-and-done” player in 2019.
Laput’s stint with La Salle came to a screeching halt after the first round of the elimination in the last UAAP cage wars when he suffered a freak accident in practice that led to a concussion.
He averaged 2.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in his short-lived collegiate career.
Laput also saw action for Porac-Big Boss Cement in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league last year.
The heartrending injury is expected to make Laput better.
“Let’s be honest if that happens to another person who knows what could have happened to them? For me it’s just like a concussion which is great to be honest, in the scheme of injuries that’s like the least of anyone’s concerns like look at the NFL players they play with concussion every day,” he said. “In terms of that, it was a blessing that’s why I took it as a blessing, not as an unfortunate event that’s why to me you got to look at it from a different perspective.”
“The perspective I look at it from something I can bounce back on, this is something that took me down and put me on my knees and punched me to the floor and like everyone went top on it, people made their own stories and assumptions out of it you know everyone has their own opinions but for me, I look at it from a different perspective and I said to myself look, life knocks you out on your feet sometimes but you gotta get back up and do it.”