Former NBA star Stephon Marbury to visit Manila

Add former NBA-All Star guard Stephon Marbury to the list of big-named basketball personalities who will set foot on Philippine soil this year.

Marbury, who now plays for the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), will be stopping over in Manila on June 24 to touch base with his Filipino fans and finalize talks regarding his shoe and apparel line, Starbury, which he hopes to formally launch in the country later this year.

With already an idea of how crazy about basketball majority of Filipinos are based on various stories from player agent Sheryl Reyes, Marbury expressed his excitement on his coming Manila visit.

“I can’t wait to be there. I’ve been told how crazy about basketball Filipinos are. I can’t wait to say hello to everyone in a couple of days,” the former NBA first-rounder said in an email.

Marbury added that he hopes to create an impact on Philippine soil similar to what he did in China where he spearheaded the Ducks’ championship run last season and made it to the CBA All-Star Game four times. He was also named CBA All-Star MVP in 2010.

“I hope I’d get to share my knowledge as a player not just in China or the Philippines, but all over Asia,” expressed Marbury. “I’ve seen a lot of talented players in the Asian level and I won’t be surprised if more Asian players, including Filipinos, will one day make it to the NBA.”

As for the Starbury line, Marbury hopes the brand, which he promised to be easy on the pocket, will get a share of the market along with its more popular counterparts.

“Growing up in the United States, my mom had a difficult time buying me a pair of shoes because of how expensive it was. So I decided to come up with this new shoe line made affordable to everyone,” he said.

“Instead of buying a pair of shoes worth $150, you can buy Starbury shoes at a more affordable price. You can now have a chance of getting not just a pair, but five pairs of shoes.”

It will be a brief stay for Marbury, made possible by Reyes, that will be highlighted by a fans day at the Asian Institute of Maritime Studies (AIMS) on Tuesday, June 25. Students will get a chance to interact with the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist for two hours, while outsiders may send a message to (0923)9932395 or teaml5r@yahoo.com for event passes. Said invites will be given on a first come, first served basis.

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