It was a slow, idle lunch break and I allowed my mind wander and somehow it settled on how I picked my jersey number.
I always picked my jersey number based on who my favorite player was back then. In grade school, it was number 1 Penny Hardaway. When I realized I wasn’t ever going to be a tall playmaker I settled on number 10 because of Mike Bibby. And then I moved on to the number 13 a few years after and it stuck from then on.
For me, picking a jersey number was simple. It was picking out the number of my favorite basketball player. A lot of the people who responded to my question also picked their number because of their favorite player.
Carlo, who used to (still might secretly) be a Purefoods fan chose the number 16 because of Alvin Patrimonio.
Chuck who’s probably the biggest Jojo Lastimosa fan I know naturally chose 6.
Several others chose the number 6.
Someone pointed out that wing players in the PBA and NBA chose the number 6 as well. It makes sense for 6 to be a popular number since a lot of Filipinos pattern their game after wing players.
The number 18 is popular because of James Yap. But he’s not the only big name to rock that number on his jersey.
#FTSFam Hael Pinat says he chose 18 because of his kid. But I’d like to believe that there’s some Purefoods/SMC/Star influence in his choice of jersey number as well.
Here are some other jersey numbers people chose because of their PBA idols.
The choice of jersey numbers isn’t just limited to PBA players. There are a lot of fans of the collegiate leagues that get their numbers from the players in the UAAP or NCAA.
In the NBA, there were a lot of replies with clear references to Michael Jordan (No. 23 and 45), Allen Iverson and Dwyane Wade (no.3), Reggie Miller (No. 31) and interestingly Glen Rice (No. 41). What surprised me though were the several Dream Team and Team USA numbers picked.
I hope that Gilas has the same effect with the younger generation. I can’t wait for someone to pick 2 because this was Terrence Romeo’s number when he was killing it in China. Or for a kid to choose the number 7 because this was Jayson Castro’s number when the Philippines beat Korea on our home turf.
The players that inspire jersey numbers don’t even have to be real people.
Basketball isn’t the only reason for picking numbers. There were others that chose their numbers for more personal reasons. Birthdays are an obvious choice. But others got their love lives involved.
A word of caution though for those who plan to choose the love life route for jersey numbers.
Not for me though. The number 13 is going to stick with me forever.
Jersey numbers can be a legacy, passed on from one generation to the next.
It can also be a tribute, a badge of honor worn on one’s chest.
Jersey numbers aren’t just a collection of numbers put together randomly. I believe that the numbers we pick for our jerseys hold more meaning. It serves as an inspiration to dominate (No. 23), to play bigger than your size (No. 30) or to never say die (No. 7) every time you step onto the playing field.