NEW YORK — Eric Paschall doesn’t know where his medal is. He told his parents to get rid of it, and so many of his childhood awards, a long time ago.
“I have a lot of trophies and stuff, but I told them to get rid of it,” Paschall said. “It’s cool, but life goes on and you can’t really dwell on that. I just try to get my accomplishments now.”
The medal in question was from the first accomplishment he felt proud of: an AAU national championship he won when he was 8 years old. Fifteen years later, he’s a participant in the NBA’s Rising Stars game over All-Star weekend.
For Paschall, physical representations of his accomplishments are less important than the progress they measure.
“Trophies and medals, I tell him not to play for that,” said Juan Paschall, Eric’s father. “Play for the championship.”
Today, those trophies and medals are boxed up in his parents’ basement in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., not seen for years. The Paschalls, who estimate those boxes contain hundreds of awards, will be in Chicago to watch Eric in Friday night’s Rising Stars game.
The No. 41 pick in June’s NBA Draft, Paschall is one of only three second-round picks on either the U.S. or World roster. During a lottery-bound season, the Warriors have come to appreciate his maturity, defensive versatility and isolation scoring.
“My draft spot, I wasn’t in the position I’m in now,” said Paschall, who is averaging 13.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 26.7 minutes per game as a rookie. “It’s just a blessing to be in this game, and I’m glad it made my family proud.”
A self-described minimalist, Paschall has held onto only a few awards: His national championship ring from his first season at Villanova, his NCAA All-Tournament plaque from his junior year, a trophy from being named First-Team All-Big East as a senior and the game ball from when he scored his 1,000th point.
But from his childhood? “There’s so much of it that there’s no reason to keep it around,” Paschall said.
Despite being one of three future NBA players on his championship AAU team — along with Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Phoenix’s Ty Jerome — Paschall said he wasn’t one of the team’s best players.
Mark Jerome, Ty’s father, coached the Riverside Hawks and had them play against older kids in New York before the national tournament in Orlando. Paschall, who wouldn’t fill out until he was much older, struggled. But after the Paschalls drove their minivan down to Florida, the Hawks, Juan said, “Just ran through everybody.”Related Articles
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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports