Aaron Beau Davis rediscovered his mojo to play college basketball

By Eric Nicole Salta | Photos by Patrick Segovia | Grooming by Hannah Patriarca | Hair by Koi Castillo

In the process of organizing this feature with 20-year-old Filipino-Kiwi Aaron Beau Davis, the 6’5 Far Eastern University (FEU) basketball player tried, unsuccessfully, to sneak a ball out of their university gym. “I tried to borrow a ball but someone saw me,” he says a little awkwardly at the thought of not fulfilling a seemingly basic task.

Not that it matters really. This Palmerston North native has a knack for exceeding expectations. Back in New Zealand, Davis was focusing on bodybuilding until an opportunity to play for UAAP basketball presented itself last year. He went to a University of the Philippines camp in Auckland where he ended up impressing them. Next thing you know, Davis was on a plane to the Philippines to try out for other universities but eventually decided on FEU because “I felt it was the right place for me.”

The only thing he needs to work on now though? Possibly shifting courses and Metro Manila traffic. “Back home it’s relaxed. You don’t have to avoid traffic,” he says coolly.

Tell me why you dabbled in bodybuilding back then?

The reason why I started was that I didn’t really like the way I looked basically. I decided to start bodybuilding at 18. I wasn’t really self-conscious. I guess I was bored and I really wanted to look better and get stronger. It kind of worked out because it helped me get stronger. All of a sudden, this basketball opportunity popped up and I transitioned into this.

So having that bodybuilding foundation helped with your transition to basketball?

I felt that it has because I can run up and down the court easily and absorb more contact. Here, basketball is a lot more physical.

What’s your training regimen like? How do you maintain your body?

Back home in New Zealand, I do a push-pull-leg split so it’s a 3-1 split. On Monday, it’s my push day so I do chest and triceps and the pull day will be back and biceps and on Wednesday I do leg day. Thursday off and then do the same split from Friday to Sunday.

You still follow that here?

It’s harder to do it here. But how I find time to work out is that I do have a weekly workout schedule. Like on a Monday I have no school so mid-day I’d just do shooting and ball handling and maybe at night I’d lift. On Tuesday, shoot in the morning, run at night, and then lift. Wednesday run in the morning, shoot at night. Maybe three times a week, I’d lift. But I want to have a physique that could make me strong, look good, and be a strong force on the court.

What are you working on right now?

Probably legs because I skip those days! [laughs]

What about guilty pleasures?

Around FEU there’s a siomai place near UST. I love siomai and rice. That and mango bravo. I’ve never had it back home so it’s nice.

Do you cross-train?

I used to play volleyball but I just decided to focus on basketball.

What advice would you give to people who are struggling to reach their fitness goals?

What I did was remember the first day that I put my mind into doing something. So you want to be a better person, then remember that drive you had when you first began. Not only when you work out but in life, make sure you have a drive to do something.