“I fell in love with basketball at the age of four. It just came naturally to me. By the time I got to high school, I wanted to make a name for myself,” shares Ravena.
Kiefer first played for La Salle grade school team before joining Ateneo’s high school varsity team, proving his mettle even at a very young age. As a teenager, he didn’t see the sport as a simple hobby. He knew he wanted to make a career out of playing basketball. These schools turned out to be a prime training ground for what was to become his career.
“By the time I got to high school, I wanted to make a name for myself,” says Kiefer. “With a lot of hard work and luck, our team, the Blue Eaglettes, won three straight championships.”
Ravena continued to play for Ateneo de Manila in college, where he first met his current mentor Atty. Martin Loon, as his professor. He earned accolades during his stint, and earned his university two consecutive championships. From there, he went on to the major leagues as a professional basketball player in the PBA. After winning two consecutive PBA Player of the Week awards, Kiefer was set to play for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, representing the Philippines.
“(Kiefer is) very grounded, grew up in a closely knit family who taught him great values. (He) remained humble and respectable regardless of status,” says Atty. Martin Loon, President and CEO of Cocolife.
One thing was clear: things were looking up for Kiefer Ravena. But it wasn’t all fun and games for the basketball star. He was injured several times on the court. The mounting pressure to succeed also weighed down on him. However, one unexpected roadblock proved to be harder than any of his setbacks.
This was particularly hard on Kiefer, who has been playing basketball every day since he was a child. Suddenly, all games and practices stopped abruptly. Ravena shares in his Cocolife interview, “Things were going my way. Until one day, I faced an obstacle: being unable to play the sport that (I) love for 18 months.”
Ever the optimist, he took these difficulties as a challenge. Kiefer channeled his energy into positive change. He even helped with relief operations in communities most in need of help. Ravena feels that these tough times have helped him mature both personally and professionally.
“I felt that it made me a better player and a better person. Whatever I’ve achieved in my career, all these became possible because there were people who believed in me: my school, the fans, and most of all, my mom, my dad and my family,” the Cocolife ambassador says.
Watch Kiefer’s journey here: