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From Hard Times to TikTok Fame: The Maverick Ahanmisi Story

MANILA, Philippines—Everyone has a certain hobby to help them de-stress. If it isn’t obvious by now, new Ginebra guard Maverick Ahanmisi’s choice is social media platform, Tiktok.

Ahanmisi, who has become a local Tiktok star with his often hilarious videos, bared that the whole thing just came about because he “needed an outlet” amid a tough stretch in his PBA career.

Through Tiktok, the American-born Filipino-Nigerian player shows his fans a piece of his daily life and personality–from videos showing his routine from home to practice, silly dances and reactions to memes, to answering questions from PBA fans. He has even wowed his followers with his flawless Tagalog despite growing up in the United States before moving to the Philippines in 2014.

“Honestly, the Tiktok thing started for me just because I needed an outlet. There was a point in my career when I was in Alaska and my mental health wasn’t doing so well,” the former FiberXer told Inquirer Sports after Ginebra’s 100-86 win.

“So Tiktok really helped me have an outlet, something to do, something that made me happy and it just kind of blew up, it just kind of took off. I enjoy it now for sure and it’s something that helped me mentally out here.”

Ahanmisi made his debut for Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, 2023. He started his career in the PBA with the Rain or Shine Elastopainters in 2015 before being traded to Alaska. He would spend three years in Alaska before he was brought in by the new franchise Converge where he began to reach a new career peak under coach Aldin Ayo.

He then decided to sign with Ginebra as a free agent and leave Converge after his contract had expired.

Source of motivation

Months of uncertainty have prompted a deluge of detractors and fans pressuring Ahanmisi to make his decision, some of them taking it to the comments section of his Tiktok account.

When he was asked about his opinion on seeing hate comments on his page, which was supposed to be an outlet for stress, Ahanmisi kept it real and said: “I love it.”

“Those fans or whatever, those same people that bash me, they motivate me and I just feel like that’s just the thing with being a PBA player out here. People are going to have their opinions about you. It’s not always going to be a good one but you just have to keep going,” he added.

The speedy shooter made a good account of himself in his first game with the Gin Kings to the tune of seven points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 32 minutes of action against his former team no less.

With Ahanmisi not being able to explode right away for Ginebra, import Tony Bishop picked up the slack with 34 points and 12 rebounds while Christian Standhardinger had a double-double of his own with 25 points and 16 boards.