Basketball Whiz Kid

Paolo Oliva, 8, is the next brain of basketball. Ask him the names of coaches of any team in the NBA, WNBA, UAAP and PBA. Ask him for the scoreboard. Ask him about the players. Ask him the game schedules. Name it, he could answer.

It's not yet official whether Paolo is a genius or not. But he was younger, he could memorize all his relatives birthdays and all the dates of important events in school. He knew the calendar. But lately he turned his attention towards professional and collegiate basketball, and man, he's deadly.

He asked his parents one day to buy him Gatorade so he could be stronger like the NBA stars. He saw a commercial, and of course he believed. Kids. When he plays basketball in their garage, he imitates the facial expressions of NBA players when they shoot, sticking his tongue sideways, or frowning with one eyebrow upwards. When the ball gets into the basket, he runs to the opposite side with his right arm raised and index finger pointed to the sky -- just like basketball players.

He watches UAAP and PBA games with his dad in Araneta Center and wherever. And he does his homeworks eagerly so he could always urge his dad to go. No wonder he knows everything about the game.

But the most wonderful thing about him, aside from his basketball genius, is that I'm his cousin. Zonk!

I miss the game so badly. I always reminisce the high school days when I played for the school. Sweet times. But I'm glad someone in my family shares this love - even more than I do.

Paolo, you're the man!