Malaybalay cager is lone Mindanawon in RP youth team

Paredes was chosen to be in the 20-member team after the tryout at the Rizal Stadium in Metro Manila from December 26 to 30.

BAP–SBP, under the auspices of the National Sports Commission organized the team following the International Olympic Committee's announcement of the staging of the first ever Youth Olympics in 2010 featuring athletes 14 to 18 years old.
Paredes told MindaNews the team will see action in the upcoming SEABA juniors' championships in May and in the Asian Youth Championships in September 2008.

He said they were informed by their coaches of a plan to train in the United States in March. Regular practice starts in January in Manila.

Paredes' mother, Lilia, a police officer, told MindaNews they are proud of their son's inclusion in the RP youth team.

She said being included in the list of qualified young players to try out was already something, especially for a boy who was born and raised in Bukidnon.

Six Mindanawons made it to the qualifying list for the try outs, three from Davao City and three from Cagayan de Oro City and Bukidnon, including himself and Michael Sorela of Valencia City.

The youth team is composed of 17 athletes from Luzon, two from the Visayas and himself, Paredes told MindaNews Tuesday.

Paredes’ mother said one concern they have yet to hurdle is if his son's school will allow him to attend practices in Manila. She said arrangements have yet to be made.

She said BAP-SBP sent a message that they would contact his son’s school.
a text message from BAP – SBP that they will contact his school for the arrangements.

Paredes graduated from the Bukidnon State University-Elementary School Laboratory and is now is a third year high school student at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori in Cagayan de Oro City.

He was discovered by basketball star Chito Loyzaga, of the SMB team, who conducted a basketball clinic in BSU while Paredes was a fifth grader.

Paredes has been a member of youth basketball teams that won championships in the country, including the Philippine Olympic Festival National Finals in November 2007, as part of the Cagayan de Oro Basketball team. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)