A Winnipeg man’s hoop dreams have come true.
Manny Aranez is one of eight people to be inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month.
“Something like this is unexplainable,” Aranez said on CBC Manitoba’s Weekend Morning Show on Saturday. “I’m so honoured and representing the Filipino basketball.”
Aranez was inducted for his role as the creator of the Philippine Basketball Association, which started as a way to help kids like Aranez’s own son.
“I wanted to see my son progress and because I love basketball so much. And I said because it’s going to help him along the way,” Aranez said.
In 2001, it started with just seven teams, but now features more than 114 teams with 14 divisions.
“I was surprised the year after it became 10. So from there it just grows and grows and grows,” Aranez said.
The “patriarch of Filipino basketball,” as Basketball Manitoba calls him, Aranez says his love of the game goes back to his childhood in the Philippines.
“I’ve been playing almost every single day from dawn when there is no sunshine yet and until dark,” he said.
Aranez says he owes it all to his mother for encouraging him and his team of volunteers in Winnipeg.
Also being honoured this year are Shawn Gray, Joanne Wells-Small, Ray Hurd, John Klassen, Randy Kusano, plus two teams — the Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate Raiders and the Treherne Collegiate Tigers.
Basketball Manitoba’s induction ceremony will be held in September.