Kiefer Ravena becomes first Filipino athlete to sign with Jordan Brand

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(CNN Philippines, May 4) — Kiefer Ravena is the freshest face and the first Filipino athlete to join the Jordan Brand, the giant American company announced in a press release Tuesday.

"It's an honor for me to be part of this basketball family. I'm both thankful and excited to be the first Filipino to be a member of the Jordan Brand. Seeing how MJ played during his time in the NBA, I collected his shoes and wanted to be a part of his camps in the US. My first pair of basketball shoes were Jordan 9s," Ravena said.

Ravena shared to CNN Philippines' News Night the process on how the Jordan Brand chose him to be its newest endorser. He said he's the third Asian to be included in the exclusive list.

"It started with my relationship with Nike, they're in one big family. The opportunity to grow with the brand and now with the Jordan Brand evolving to more global. I'm the third Asian (China's Guo Ailun and Japan's Rui Hachimura). It's just the expansion and how basketball has moved a lot of borders and moved everybody closer."

Are there plans to create his own line of colorways or signature shoes under the Jordan Brand? "Hopefully. That's a dream of mine ever since," Ravena said.

Asked which Jordan pair is his favorite, Ravena said Jordan 11 is the one closest to his heart.

"It has a special place in my heart because it's one of my first basketball shoes."

After an impressive college stint with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP, where he won two titles and two Most Valuable Player awards, Ravena was drafted second overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft by the NLEX Road Warriors.

The second generation basketball star helped the Philippines win five gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games from 2011 through 2019. He has also represented the country in numerous international tournaments such as the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017, FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2019 and several FIBA 3x3 tournaments.

"We're inspired by Manila's basketball culture and are thrilled to welcome our first Filipino athlete to the Jordan family," Jordan Brand President Craig Williams said "Basketball has a powerful influence on youth culture around the globe, and Kiefer can inspire future generations of ballers to make an impact in their hometowns and beyond. We are united by a shared love for the game, and Kiefer a two-time UAAP MVP and Champion represents the passion and love for basketball that you see all over the Philippines."

Ravena joins a roster of stars from the NBA and WNBA who are endorsers of the brand such as Zion Williamson, Luka Dončić, Jayson Tatum, Satou Sabally, Asia Durr, and Kia Nurse.