|Sudan Daniel went from being "almost sent home" to a basketball star on and off the court. MPBL (file photo)|
MANILA—At a time when recruiting student-athletes from across the globe was set to become a norm in Philippine college basketball, Sudan Daniel became an example of what a foreign student-athlete should look like.
"Su is a player you want to have in your team. He works hard in practice and gives everything in the game," former San Beda coach Frankie Lim said on Monday night.
However, he admitted that he came close to letting go of the American high-flyer.
"A little known fact about my relationship with Su: I almost sent him home back in 2009," Lim bared.
But instead of getting demoralized, Daniel used as a motivation to how the Red Lions that he deserves to stay.
"Since then he worked hard day in and day out and proved that he could do this," Lim added.
The extra work bore fruit as San Beda completed the rare NCAA season sweep in 2010, avenging its 2009 finals loss to San Sebastian.
"Next thing you know, we swept the whole thing and he had a complete turn around. He copped the MVP and Defensive Player [of the Year] awards that year while coming off the bench and only playing an average of 22 minutes a game," Lim further said.
While his collegiate career was cut short by an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Daniel, who has been a well loved figure especially by the Bedan community until today, still did some contributions to basketball especially in the grassroots level.
"He teaches kids basketball and he is also well loved by them not because he was a great teacher but he is teaching from experience," Lim further said.
That is why he finds Daniel as someone he would love to recruit again if given the chance as he pays his last honors to him following his death on Saturday.
"Ask anybody in the team including me, we’ll go through hell and back with Su again and again," Lim further said. "SBU is blessed to have a player like Sudan."
He added, "We are very proud of the man he came to be. He took care of himself and those around him very well 'til the end. You will never be forgotten."
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