Bahay looks forward to growth on, off the court at Ateneo

STAYING IN THE NEST. Jared Bahay announces his commitment to joining Ateneo de Manila University in a press conference on Thursday night, Jan. 25, 2024. / JNP
STAYING IN THE NEST. Jared Bahay announces his commitment to joining Ateneo de Manila University in a press conference on Thursday night, Jan. 25, 2024. / JNP

AMID all the buzz surrounding him and his sudden withdrawal from the commitment he made to the University of the Philippines (UP) last year, talented guard Jared Bahay took time away from the spotlight and leaned on what he has been familiar with for the last seven years: his home, Ateneo de Cebu.

After deeply pondering what the next step of his career would entail, the 18-year-old decided it was best not to leave the nest and transition from being a Magis Eagle to becoming a Blue Eagle — an Ateneo de Manila University (Admu) Blue Eagle.

“I’ve been a student of Ateneo de Cebu since I transferred in Grade 6. The past seven years, I have grown to appreciate not only the Ateneo education but also the programs and activities that are part of my Jesuit school formation. I am very grateful for the many opportunities I have been given to grow in Ateneo de Cebu. I hope to continue to grow in another Jesuit school in Ateneo de Manila University,” said Bahay during the press conference on Thursday night, Jan. 25, 2024 at the Cebu Country Club in Cebu City.

Bahay is considered to be collegiate basketball’s next big thing after a stellar career at Ateneo de Cebu, where he amassed two Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. high school championships and two Most Valuable Player trophies.

He was also ranked the No. 1 high school player in the country by the National Basketball Training Center last year.

Bahay initially committed to join the UP Fighting Maroons in March 2023. However, he had a change of heart and decided to move to the latter’s Katipunan and UAAP rivals, where he will have some familiar faces to help him make the transition. Already in the Blue Eagles’ nest are his former Ateneo de Cebu teammates Raffy Celis and Michael Asoro and former Batang Gilas teammates Kyle Gamber, Lebron Nieto, Kobe Demisana, and Mason Amos.

Admu head coach Tab Baldwin, who’s in Australia, sent Bahay a video message, expressing his excitement to have the young guard on board.

“We’re excited for you, your family, and our team. It’s a big decision, and we hope for a very bright future together. We’re really looking forward to working with you and having you and your family as part of our community. It’s a great day for us,” Baldwin said.

“We’re really happy that Jared opted to come to Ateneo. We’re very excited, knowing that he will be a significant part of our program moving forward,” Baldwin added.

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