Filipino in NBA
The first and only Filipino to have ever played in the National Basketball Association or NBA is Raymond Townsend, whose mother is from Balayan, Batangas and whose father is an American. Standing six feet and three inches tall, Townsend played for the NBA from 1978 to 1982 for the Golden State Warriors and later for the Indiana Pacers. What we are excited about this time is that Townsend himself announces that he has Filipino blood running through his veins.
Raymond Townsend is regarded as the first Fil-Am and only Asian American to have ever been drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, according to the articles at Wikipedia and Asian Journal. Townsend (using firstname.lastname@example.org), in an email to txtmania, confirmed that he is a proud Filipino.
His email reads: "My name is Raymond Townsend. I am a former UCLA All-American basketball player of Filipino-American ancestry. I am a 'proud Pinoy' who is the first and only Filipino-American to ever play in the NBA."
"I broke the barriers for other Filipinos to reach that goal of representing our culture as a player in the NBA. I believe Eric Spoelstra should be there also as he is the first Filipino-American to ever coach in the NBA."
Townsend said he is currently promoting an NBA 'Filipino Hoops and Heritage Tour' (FHHN) throughout the different NBA cities. "I hope you will support this celebration of Filipino cultural performances, Filipino celebrities and many other Filipino activities while enjoying the great game of basketball we all love."
"I would love to be a part of the history of Filipino basketball as I know many of the players you speak about. And for the record, I am still the only Filipino-American to this day since the inception of the NBA that has been drafted in the NBA first round and played basketball at the greatest level in the world. A Filipino's dream come true."
"Please accept this letter with the sincerity it was written and keep up the great work promoting our heritage. Thank you for your time. All the best, Raymond Townsend."
Speaking of Eric Spoelstra, there are also articles describing him as a Filipino American. Spoelstra, a coach of Miami Heat, thus became the first person with Filipino and Asian heritage to coach in the NBA.