Lopez still settles with Blue Eaglets, academics in Ateneo as his top priority
“To get my diploma” is Francis Leo “LeBron” Lopez’s priority for now after postponing his overseas training in East-West Private in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Last August, rumors circulated about Lopez’s commitment to East-West Private and is set to sign a contract to the Atlanta-based agency where he will join Sage Tolentino, Cholo Anonuevo, and Jayden Harper.
However, the 16-year-old Fil-Angolan standout’s previous plans will have to be shelved for the meantime after his decision to continue his studies and stay with Ateneo High School.
“My whole family taught me the importance of education. I want to get my Ateneo diploma and I will work hard for it,” he said
The Grade 10 student Lopez has started attending his online classes since last week and looks to obtain a high school diploma before deciding on his next option.
Though training abroad is an opportunity of a lifetime for some, securing an Ateneo diploma is the biggest thing in the mind of Lopez as of now.
“Wala pong substitute ang magandang education because I believe that for me to be able to be the best, I need the most important aspect — intelligence.”
His uncle Felipe and aunt Leonila showed their hundred percent support to Lopez’s decision, “Suporta lang kami palagi at dasal na si Francis ay makatapos at maging successful. Masaya na kami,” his aunt said.
Moreover, Lopez, who transferred from La Salle Green Hills, averaged 16.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game.
Lopez still has two more playing years in the high school division, keeping the Blue Eaglets among the contenders in the UAAP boys’ basketball wars, however, it is still unknown if the UAAP will hold a new season in the high school tournament.
Although plans for him to go to the US have been set aside, the Fil-Angolan high-flyer believes that he can still maximize his potential here under the Ateneo basketball program.
“I will continue to aspire to be the best basketball player that I can be. I’m sure Ateneo has a plan and will help me achieve that,” said Lopez.