Black is the lowest drafted player in PBA history to win the Rookie of the Year award.
This PBA All-Star Weekend, Aaron Black is one of the biggest names playing in the RSJ All-Stars. He’s grown from his rookie year, where he became the lowest drafted player in PBA history to win the Rookie of the Year award, to this current conference, where he’s stepped up in both playmaking and scoring.
“Hard work works” is a motto that Black lives by—at least, these days. Because he will also be the first to tell you that he wasn’t like this in his younger days.
“Even if you ask my dad, I was a lazy kid. I didn’t want to do push-ups, I didn’t want to do extra work,” he says. “It wasn’t until I tore my ACL in my junior of high school that things changed.”
That injury was a harsh wakeup call, but it was the shock he needed. “After that, I learned to appreciate the game so much more because I realized it could be taken away from you at any moment if you don’t make the most of it,” Black says.
His perspective on the game changed forever. And even though he wasn’t given much opportunity to play during his college career in Ateneo, he was determined to change his fate in the PBA. Prior to the draft, he trained in America in an effort to mold himself into an athlete ready for the pros. And these days, he continues to invest his resources into extra work—hiring individual trainers on top of what Meralco provides the team.
It isn’t lost on Black that he’s gone from a kid who avoided extra work, to a professional who seeks it out. “I’m the type of player who gets his confidence from the work that I do,” he shares. “I like feeling like I’m doing everything I can. If I’m able to put in extra hours, I can be more confident on the court.”
“I want to keep it that way, I never want to relax,” he stresses. “I love putting in the work and seeing the results.”