Filipino-American baller Chanelle Molina will represent two countries as she attempts to make her way into the WNBA.
In a press release on Wednesday morning, Molina shared her eagerness to banner the Philippines and Hawaii after signing a training camp contract with the 2012 WNBA Indiana Fever champions.
And Molina could make history as the first full-blooded Filipino—the nearest one, perhaps—to fit into the WNBA.
“To be the first WNBA Filipino baller, it’s an amazing opportunity. And I’m honored to have the chance to be that,” said Molina. “Very excited to represent my culture and like I said, I’m honored to be that role model for all those aspiring to be in my position and y’know, wanting to play in high level. Everything is an honor and I’m glad in representing my community.”
Born and raised in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, Molina is proud of her Filipino roots.
The WNBA prospect recalled that her mother moved from Quezon City to the United States at the age of five, while her Ilocos Norte-native father moved to Hawaii at the age of 15.
Even if she’s never set foot in the Philippines, Molina’s aspirations include the soon-to-be Gilas Pilipinas jersey and a return to her home country at the right time.
And she’s just as proud of her representation in Hawaii.
“It’s the same with the Filipino community. Coming from Hawaii, that side of my culture too. Even though I’m not Hawaiian [by blood] or anything else, I was born and raised there,” said the 22-year-old Molina.
A product of Washington State University, Molina plays her first professional basketball league with the Norrköping Dolphins at the Svenska Basketligan Dam in Sweden.
The 5-foot-9 Fil-Am guard averages 17.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists the fifth-seeded Dolphins with a 12-6 record.