Filipina basketball star Jack Animam has learned to embrace her role to represent the country more than ever especially after bagging another championship overseas with Shih Hsin University in Taiwan’s University Basketball Association (UBA).
Animam, in a recent article by FIBA, said bannering the Philippines in the Taiwan stint is both an “honor and privilege.”
“The important thing is that, I feel responsible. Playing here [in Chinese Taipei] is bigger than me. I have to show others that Filipinas can ball, too,” said the 22-year-old Animam, who led SHU to its championship run undefeated in 18 games, as the FIBA article described her as “not your typical UBA star.”
The former National University standout expressed elation over the fact that the women’s basketball scene in the Philippines has been gaining more media traction, citing that exposure is very important for the thriving sport, especially with the establishment of the first professional league in WNBL.
Despite her impressive showing, be it local or international, the Gilas Pilipinas Women mainstay remained grounded on her goal to help in nurturing the sport in general.
Believe it or not, she never considered herself as the face of Philippine women’s basketball.
“Being the face of the Philippine women’s basketball never crossed my mind. When I get to play for Gilas, the priority is to get better so I can help the team and our sport,” said the 6-foot-5 Animam, who averaged 17.1 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 1.9 blocks in the UBA.
In a recent social media post, Animam shared a reflection of her Taiwan stint, admitting that the past five months have been a rollercoaster ride of an experience.
Animam, a double medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, spearheaded SHU to a 70-51 win over Taiwan Normal University with 18 points, 20 rebounds and four assists to extend her win streak to 96 games.