Kobe Paras withdraws from UCLA after failing academic requirement

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Kobe Paras’ dream of playing for the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins — the training ground of NBA superstars like Russell Westbrook and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — ended before it even began.

According to a statement of the UCLA Athletic Department, the 6’6” Filipino guard withdrew from the university “due to academic conditions not being met.”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Cathedral High School Principal John Montgomery said Paras was “an honors student who met all of his NCAA requirements” but that there was an "SAT scoring issue.”

The SAT is one of two tests often required for admission to universities in the United States. It serves as a measure of an individual’s critical thinking and analytical skills, with a score of 2400 as the highest.

Though there is no absolute SAT score requirement at UCLA, the average score composite is 1941. According to the Los Angeles Cathedral High School, Paras only scored 1750.

Paras made waves after years playing with La Salle-Greenhills in the Philippines, and the Los Angeles Cathedral High and Middlebrooks Academy in the United States.

He also helped lead the Philippines to back-to-back championships in the FIBA U-18 Slam Dunk contest.

Read: Kobe Paras retains FIBA 3x3 Slam Dunk crown

He was signed by the UCLA Bruins last November 12 and was supposed to be part of the 2016 recruiting class. The Bruins even tweeted a picture of the yellow-tipped blue nameplate of Paras with the hashtag GoBruins last May.

“We’re always looking for players who’ve grown up immersed in basketball, and Kobe definitely fits that mold,” said Bruins Head Coach Steve Alford in a statement posted on the school website when Paras was recruited in 2015.

“He just loves the game. To add a talented player like Kobe to our program is terrific. He’s a very athletic guard who plays with tremendous energy,” the coach added.

Coaches of Paras’ former high school said that he is still qualified for the NCAA and will most likely play for another university after withdrawing from UCLA.

There was no immediate comment from Paras or members of his family, including his father Benjie Paras, the only PBA player who won the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards in the same year.

CNN Philippines intern Justin Sagum contributed to this report.