STANLEY Pringle has a lot to thank his high school coach for where his basketball career has taken him.
The prolific Barangay Ginebra guard credited Landstown mentor Dwight Robinson for the words of wisdom he gave him during his secondary year that paved the way for his success in playing ball.
Pringle, 33, admitted hanging around with neighborhood friends, whom his coach felt were not the right persons to be with if he's planning to pursue a basketball path in college, and ultimately in the professional level.
"He (Robinson) pulled me to the side and made it clear to me that 'hey look, you're getting college letters, but you're hanging around with your so-called friends who got nothing to lose. You're not (going to be) able to go to college if you keep going to where you're headed,'" the Fil-Am guard recalled the words of his high school coach during the PBA Kamustahan.
Pringle was the starting playmaker at Landstown, and Robinson knew he could become an even bigger star if he would focus on just playing and staying away from distractions.
"So he gave me a kind of a tunnel vision and I actually cut out a lot of my friends," added Pringle
The native of San Diego, California disclosed he usually played a lot in the neighborhood parks where he met some of his close buddies growing up.
"Basically, I started playing in the parks, playing outside with what the kids in your neighborhood tended, that's what you hang out with," he said.
But the obedient student he is, Pringle followed what Mr. Robinson told him and soon after, offers from colleges and universities which boast of solid basketball programs came knocking at his door.
He mentioned Virginia Tech, Marshall University, and even Western Kentucky University as among the schools he considered.
Pringle chose Penn State.
"I actually visited Chris Ross' school (Marshall) and that's where I first met Chris. Even Japeth's (Aguilar) Western Kentucky, I could have gone there, but I just chose Penn State," he said.
He graduated in 2009 with a degree in Labor Studies and Employment Relations.
Initially, the Ginebra stalwart took his act professionally overseas, playing in leagues in Belgium, Poland, and the Ukraine.
By 2012, he landed a spot with the Indonesia Warriors in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), leading the team to the championship against San Miguel Beer.
Two years after, Pringle finally found his way home after latching on in the PBA, emerging as the top overall pick by NorthPort in the 2014 draft.
He eventually won his first ever league championship with Ginebra last year in the Governors' Cup.
All of these wouldn't be possible if not for Mr. Robinson's guidance, according to Pringle.
"He definitely has a lot to do with keeping my path straight and try to get the distractions out of my life. I owe him a lot of me being here," he said.(RG)