From Bulacan To The World: Jack Animam’s Basketball Journey So Far

Jack Animam is officially headed to Australia. Ahead of her debut there, let’s recap her already remarkable journey as a pioneering Filipina basketball player.

At this point, Jack Animam can already be called an icon, and a trailblazer among Filipino athletes. From a storied career with the NU Lady Bulldogs, Animam capped off her collegiate career with another championship and productive season in Taiwan. 

Shortly thereafter came four different international stints. In between were two SEA Games medals, and several call-ups for the national team.

And Animam’s legend just continues to grow. Immediately after a trailblazing stint in China, she now takes her talents to Australia, signing with the National Basketball League 1’s Ringwood Hawks.

Ahead of her April 3 debut in Australia, let us now recap Jack Animam’s already-storied basketball career as of this writing.

NU Lady Bulldogs
Jack Animam in NU
Of course, we can never forget Jack Animam’s (leftmost) time with the NU Lady Bulldogs. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Facebook)

Jack Animam’s emergence can be traced back to the Pat Aquino-coached NU Lady Bulldogs. From 2015 to 2019, Animam was part of the Lady Bulldogs squads that set a 96-game winning streak and won five straight championships.

Individually, Animam was also well-recognized. She won Rookie of the Year in 2015, the MVP plum in 2017, and eventually a Finals MVP in 2018. Besides these, Animam was also a four-time Mythical Five selection from 2016 to 2019.

Gilas Pilipinas Women: 2019 SEA Games 
Jack Animam in SEA Games
Jack Animam had already been a national team staple even as a Lady Bulldog. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Facebook)

Even in college, Jack Animam was already a part of the women’s national teams. Most notably, she was part of the Gilas Pilipinas Womens’ teams that won gold medals in both 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 competitions at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. 

Animam was key in helping Gilas Womens’ win their first 5-on-5 gold medal in the SEA Games with a 21-point and five-rebound outing against Thailand in the finals. 

Taiwan: Shi Hsin National University
Jack Animam in Taiwan
Jack Animam in Taiwan. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Facebook)

Animam wrapped up her amateur career with a one-and-done stint in Taiwan’s University Basketball Association (UBA), from November 2020 to March 2021. This was also her first time with a foreign team, playing for Shih Hsin University (SHU) as their import. 

The Filipina helped SHU to a season sweep en route to their second-straight championship. Aminam was also the UBA’s top rebounder, averaging 14.1 boards per game, alongside an accompanying All-UBA team selection. 

United States: EastWest Private, Zone 6 Celtics
Jack Animam in the States
In the States, Animam was under EWP and was mentored by Coach Dante Harlan. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Instagram)

Shortly after Taiwan, Animam took her talents to the US. Around May 2021, she first signed with EastWest Private (EWP), a talent agency that has also handled Kai Sotto, Kobe Paras, and Cholo Añonuevo to name a few. 

In June of that year,  Animam suited up for the Zone 6 Celtics in the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League (AEBL). In her lone game reported, Animam had an elite 23-point and 10-rebound outing in her Celtics’ 86-16 drubbing over the AEBL Elite. 

Serbia: Radnički Kragujevac 
Jack Animam made her professional debut in Serbia. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Instagram)

Animam’s professional debut came with Radnički Kragujevac in the First Women’s Basketball League of Serbia. Initially announced in August 2021, Animam made her debut in October that year, making her the first Filipina hooper to play in Europe. 

However, the Filipina’s Serbia stint abruptly ended in December of that year due to a left ACL and MCL injury.

Consequently, Jack Animam was only able to play eight games, and a total of three months with the Serbian club. Within her eight games, Animam was a force, averaging 20 points per game, and a league-high 14.3 rebounds per contest. 

France: Toulouse Métropole Basket, USO Mondeville 
Part of Animam’s comeback was a stopover in France. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Facebook)

After a year-long recovery, Animam resumed her career with Toulouse Metropole Basket in France’s Ligue Féminine de Basketball in January 2023. By March, she again transferred to USO Mondeville in the Ligue Feminine 2 de Basketball. 

Understandably, Animam had unproductive outings in France. With Toulouse, the Filipina only averaged 3.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in three games played. 

Gilas Pilipinas Women’s: 2023 SEA Games, FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, Hangzhou Asian Games 
Of course, Animam also returned to Gilas Pilipinas Womens in 2023 (Photo Credit: FIBA)

Part of Animam’s return to action was playing for the national team. For 2023, she was with Gilas Women as they competed in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, and the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

In her SEA Games return, Animam was part of a Gilas crew that won silver medals in both 5×5 and 3×3 tilts. In the FIBA tilt, Animam helped the nationals settle for a sixth-place finish, their best since 1984. 

And in the Asian Games, Animam was part of history as the first Gilas Women’s team in 25 years to compete in the regional meet. In the Asiad, Animam and company reached the quarterfinals, finishing in fifth out of 12 competing nations. 

China: Wuhan Shengfan 
Jack Animam was most recently playing in the WCBA. (Photo Credit: Jack Animam on Facebook)

In August last year, Animam signed with Wuhan Shengfan in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). This stint madeAnimam the first Filipino athlete to play in mainland China, and supposedly the league’s first import in four years. 

The Filipina made her debut last October with a near-double-double of 10 points and nine boards in a 61-74 loss against Mongolia Nongxin. Eventually, Animam proceeded to average a double-double of 11.4 points and 12.4 boards in the recently concluded WCBA season.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Here’s to hoping that Australia becomes another memorable time in the ever-growing Jack Animam legend. 

Banner Image from FIBA.

Jack Animam Embraces Being a Role Model For Young Filipinas

The Future is Female: 5 Young Filipina Athletes Eager to Make Their Mark

5 of the Most Decorated Filipina Athletes of All-Time