Tag Archives: PBA

An inspiring [true] story!

Lamont, Mike, Darin, and the rest of our "family" at one of our usual post-Church service dinners!

Lamont, Mike, Darin, and the rest of our Sunday "family"

Early this month, I had blogged about the recent PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) draft here, and my friends Rob and Sam Johnson blogged about it here. For us, it was especially meaningful, because two of our friends–Lamont Waters and Mike Burtscher–were drafted to play for the Sta. Lucia Realtors and the Alaska Aces, respectively. Our blogs talk about how inspiring their stories are, but yesterday, Rob tweeted about this article by Shaan Bermudez-Hizon, which goes deeper into Mike’s story. Read it and be inspired!


By Patricia Bermudez-Hizon

Now a few PBA fans looked baffled when the sixth overall pick was named in the 2009 PBA Draft last August 2.  Who is Mike Burtscher?  There were hardly any surprises in the Draft until his name was called.  Even the ones who knew of him were shocked to hear the Alaska Aces pick him over so many other up and coming ballers.

But Burtscher is out to prove his worth and live out his journey that is quickly taking him to the top, but has dragged him deep into the dark valleys.

This is Mike’s story — a story which will make you understand why he’s got a lot of fight in him.  A story that will hopefully inspire you.

Michael Andre Morato Burtscher was born in Switzerland to his Filipina mother, Juliet.  He never met his biological father as he abandoned them before he was even born.  She left the Philippines with her eventual husband, Rainer Burtscher, and gave birth to Mike on March 8, 1985 in Baden, Switzerland.

Mike always felt alienated by his step dad and step brother which made him a rebellious teen.  It didn’t help that he felt his mother was also being treated unfairly.  His life crumbled when he once came home from school and found that all of his mother’s belongings were gone and was told that he was not the real son of the only father he ever knew.  He then ran away from the house he never really felt was a home.  He was only 16 then.

Read the rest of the feature here! Good stuff!

God and Basketball

Yesterday was one for the books.

Michael Burtscher goes to the Alaska Aces--6th overall pick @ the 2009 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Draft!

Michael Burtscher goes to the Alaska Aces--6th overall pick @ the 2009 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Draft (photo c/o Sarah Meier-Albano)

Lamont Waters joins Sta. Lucia Realtors! (photo by Sarah Meier-Albano)

Lamont Waters joins Sta. Lucia Realtors! (photo c/o Sarah Meier-Albano)

Lamont and Mike have got to be two of the most humble, amiable, kind, hardworking, and dedicated people I know. Maybe the stats and TV screens don’t always reveal that, but I have no doubt that more than just their skills, Alaska and Sta. Lucia also saw what we see in them.

I feel so blessed that we got to witness the journey that they’ve been on. What’s even more inspiring is that–even if things turned out differently–knowing these guys, they would still be loving and thanking God. In that light, watching the PBA draft yesterday was such a wonderful and mind-blowing experience for all of us!

Their Facebook status messages say it all:

Michael Burtscher: GOD just blessed me beyond imagination!! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Thank you all for the support and prayers!”

Lamont Waters:Can’t belive this isn’t a dream!! I am beyond words. Continue to be faithful and put Him first in everything you do. All glory and honor be to God!!”

They’re like family to us, and we couldn’t be happier for them. God is AWESOME! :)