Here’s a case of leadership guru John Maxwell’s Law of Empowerment at work.
According to Maxwell, the Law of Empowerment states that “Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others”. So read on…
Danny Ildefonso knows his days in the PBA are numbered, which is why, he admitted that he gladly took a young June Mar Fajardo under his wings in what proved to be his final season with the Petron franchise last year.
Despite nursing a shoulder injury late in 2012 and just before he had it operated on early in 2013, Ildefonso worked with Fajardo, teaching him “big man’s plays” and post moves.
Ildefonso was like “Dr. Han” to Fajardo, who on the other hand, was like “Drei” – in the Karate Kid movie that starred Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith) in 2010.
The former National University big man said it was a joy to train Fajardo, who was like a sponge, absorbing everything he would teach him about basketball.
And so the 6’10” Fajardo, last season’s top overall pick, slowly worked his way to the PBA, oftentimes getting clobbered by more seasoned, yet, smaller defenders during the first two conferences of his rookie year.
But by the time the Governors Cup arrived, Fajardo started to show he can dominate, helping the Boosters to a runner-up finish against the San Mig Coffee Mixers.
With Fajardo finishing a total of 16 double-doubles in the Philippine Cup this season, Ildefonso has no doubt that his former protege would be capturing more individual awards down the road and even be a dominant big man for years for the Boosters.
And though Petron dropped him out of the line up late last year, the only team he happened to play for during his distinguished 15-year PBA career, there was no hint of bitterness on the 6’5″ two-time league MVP’s voice as he talked fondly about his last season with the Boosters, where he ended up more like a “cheer leader” rather than the big man who used to be the face of the franchise. “Napakabait at napaka-sipag na bata,” Ildefonso said of his former protege, who on Friday, won the Best Player of the Conference (for the Philippine Cup), his first major individual award after losing the Rookie of the Year battle to Calvin Abueva last year.The 37-year-old Ildefonso hopes that Petron/ San Miguel could maximise the 6’10” Fajardo, emphasising that the latter is just one of the few local big players capable of dominating the game due to his size and good foot work.
“Kung mabibigyan siya (Fajardo) lagi ng bola sa ilallim, kaya niya. Di niya nga kailangang mag-fade away jumper kasi mas mababa naman ang percentage ng pagpasok kung ganun. Di naman kasi niya kailangang mag-fade away eh malaki siya,” he added.
With Ildefonso’s contract extended by the Bolts till the end of the season, at least, PBA fans can be assured of seeing the former Petron star go up a few more times against Fajardo, his former student in the last two conferences.