BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – John Julien Gadian loved basketball growing up as a teen in the streets here.
Here, as in most other cities in the country, basketball is a game revered as much as soccer is in other countries.
In a city that has produced basketball greats like Rudy “The Destroyer” Distrito, Yves Dignadice, and Manuel Huelar to mention a few, basketball, and the stars it spawns, is both guide and means to better one’s status in life.
Now a professional who is also an amateur fromager and connoisseur, the 40ish John has shifted his attention from basketball to running to keep himself mentally and physically fit.
“He inspired many of us to be good at what we do,” John tells DNX reporter Richard Meriveles as they ran side by side yesterday at the Capitol Lagoon and Park where he and scores of other runners had a five-kilometer run the day after Bryant, his daughter, and several other people were killed in a helicopter crash in California.
Bryant’s colorful career in basketball was not absent of controversies though after a young woman claimed Bryant raped her inside a hotel room.
The charge was not proven in court.
The runners yesterday made short work of the five-kilometer run.
In only 25 minutes, Julian says.
He and the other runners from clubs like Team Tuyaw, Bacolod Afternoon Recreational Runners, D’Hamsters, Bacolod Road Stallions, Team Himamaylan, and Team Awa paused for a while after the run.
Kobe is dead but to people like John, he inspired them to be good at what they do.