May 29, 2024

Dream Chasers: San Miguel rookie Kyt Jimenez builds kids' lives as he pursues his PBA goals

Dream Chasers: San Miguel rookie Kyt Jimenez builds kids
Kyt Jimenez is living his PBA dream. (Art by Mitzi Solano; Photos by Sherwin Vardeleon)

Just a few months into his rookie year in the PBA, Kyt Jimenez already achieved one of his dreams – to hoist a championship trophy.

"Mabigyan ng championship sa rookie ko," said Jimenez, as he enumerated his goals in his pro career in an exclusive interview with One Sports.

There is more time to tick everything else.

First and foremost, the 27-year-old San Miguel point guard prioritizes his contribution in practice. And while he rarely sees playing minutes on the court, the goal is to make the most out of it whenever his name is called.

"Una, siyempre, 'yung makapagpapakita ako sa practice namin, may maitulong ako sa practice. Then magandang resulta sa game 'pag nagamit. Every game, manalo," said Jimenez.

San Miguel's Kyt Jimenez tries to get past Diego Dario of Meralco in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner's Cup on Nov. 19, 2023. (Art by Mitzi Solano; Photo courtesy of the PBA)

The individual award would come later, and he knows that he would be able to achieve that only through teamwork.

"Siguro, sa individual, soon, makuha ko naman 'yung makapag-MVP. And makakuha ng award through my teammates," he added.

All these are anchored on his motto – if he combines prayer and action, he knows this will lead to a good result in the end.

"Pray and hard work lang. And alam kong may good result sa dulo," said Jimenez.

 

But these dreams are not just for himself. He is fulfilling his by helping others achieve theirs along the way.

Jimenez shared that his time away from basketball is spent with his family as well as with his students – he is teaching a group of kids the rudiments of the game in the hopes of helping them find a school they can play for someday.

"[I spend my free time] sa family ko and 'yung kasama ko lagi sa bahay and sa mga students ko. May mga tinuturuan kasi akong bata na kasama ko sa bahay, then tinutulungan ko silang makapag-school," said Jimenez.

 

He did not have the same opportunity growing up.

Asked who influenced him to play basketball, Jimenez bared that there was none as he just made the most of a half-court across his home in Quezon City. There, he played basketball with his brother and neighbor. 

“Naglalaru-laro lang ako sa tapat ng bahay namin. May half-court kami. Kami lang ng kapatid ko at kapitbahay. Doon lang siya nag-start,” he said.

He actually started playing the sport not until he was 15 years old. He envisioned himself becoming a professional basketball player two years later.

“Late na. Siguro mga 17 years old na ako [noong] parang gusto kong subukan 'yung basketball,” he said.

But no one is too old or too young to chase his dream.

Nearly ten years later, Jimenez was picked at No. 76 by the Beermen in the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft.

He saw himself being teammates with his idol, his "kuya" Terrence Romeo. The other basketball player he looks up to is Derrick Rose in the NBA.

 

But if his fortunes turned the other way, Jimenez said he could have pursued being an architect.

"Architect," said Jimenez, thoughtfully, when asked what he would be had he not been a basketball player.

That would have to wait, though, as he continues to relish the fulfillment of his dreams in the PBA.

Kyt Jimenez in action during the PBA Draft Combine on Sept. 13, 2023 (Art by Mitzi Solano; Photo courtesy of the PBA)

 

DID YOU KNOW?

- Kyt Jimenez is a YouTube star, boasting of 199,000 subscribers in the social media platform.

- He loves adobo, but he also lists vegetable dishes chopsuey and pakbet as among his favorites.

- The Taken trilogy, action films starring Liam Neeson, is on top of his movie-to-watch list.

- Jam with Jimenez as you sing his go-to song, Legend by Drake.

- His pre-game ritual is doing a light workout before heading to the match venue.

- If Jimenez is not on the court, he could be seen in Antipolo or Tagaytay where he "chills." He also devotes time to do extra training.

- His celebrity crush is Yassi Pressman.