Ex-NBA star set to play for Tiu-mentored team in Dubai

Nick Young will reinforce the Charles Tiu-coached Strong Group team in Dubai. (USA Today Sports)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Former NBA player Nick Young really meant what he said when he expressed his desire to play in the Philippines.

In a quick turn of events, Young will now suit up for the Strong Group basketball team owned by Filipino hooper Jacob Lao.

The Lao-owned basketball team will reportedly represent the Philippines in the upcoming 2023 Dubai International Championship from January 27 to February 5 next year.

The development was announced by College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers head coach Charles Tiu who will also call the shots for Strong Group.

After a historic first-place finish during the recently concluded NCAA men’s basketball season, Tiu will seek to glue the Strong Group squad with Young as their main gunner.

Tiu also added that Young will be arriving in Manila to practice with his teammates before Strong Group leaves for Dubai.

“We are hoping he can still be the explosive scorer that we know him to be. We think the Filipino fans will love him,” said Tiu.

Tiu had the chance to speak with Young and the former NBA scorer said that he wants to prove that he can still play the sport that he loves at the highest level.

Young was the 16th overall pick during the 2007 NBA Draft and has proven his worth as one of the league’s creative scorers when he had his stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Golden State Warriors.

The six-foot-seven shooting guard also won an NBA championship title when he became a part of Golden State’s 2018 squad.

However, no team failed to secure him a long-term contract in the NBA which forced him to enter the  Big3 League.