Another former PBA cager is hanging up his sneakers for good.
At just 33 years old, Rico Maierhofer has decided to step away from professional basketball. The 2010 PBA Rookie of the Year winner bared the news through a lengthy pose on Instagram titled “Happy Retirement”.
“It was truly a wonderful experience, but unfortunately due to injury prone career I am announcing my early retirement in playing professional basketball,” Maierhofer wrote, adding grateful messages to everyone who helped throughout his basketball journey.
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"Happy Retirement" it was truly a wonderful experience,but unfortunately,due to injury prone career I am announcing my early retirement in playing professional basketball,thank you to the entire PBA organization for this once in a lifetime opportunity,thank you San Miguel Corporation, 2009-2011 PUREFOODS/BMEG, 2011-2013 GINEBRA, 2013-2015 SANMIGUEL BEERMEN and 2018 SANMIGUEL ALAB Pilipinas.My family and I are forever grateful for the opportunity and had been blessed with 3 championship rings all from SMC Family,thank you Boss RAMON ANG and Ninong Alfrancis Chua for all the trust and I will never forget all those pieces of advice,thank you Charlie Dy @sportsagentcd for guiding me throughout my pro career,also to Barako Bull 2016 and Global Port 2017 to Boss Mikee Romero for my short but sweet stint as Batang Pier,remembering our 7 straight PBL Championships.Thank you also to my Alma Mater DLSU,Coach Franz Pumaren,Tito Terry Capistrano,Tito Perry Uy and Tita Vangie for teaching me to be a better person,being a green archer made everything special,because it started my career right,thank you to all the fans who cheered and watched me since 2003,and to my family for always there for me,to my number 1 fan my wife @jeckmaierhofer who prays for me every practices and games I love you so much.To my mom and dad,who took care of me when Jeck is not yet around,to my 4 kids my inspiration.And last but not the least,thank you Lord God for all the lessons,good and bad.I am starting a new and different career and praying only and always for the best.God bless us all – Rico Maierhofer
Maierhofer’s name rose up the local ranks after helping the De La Salle Green Archers snag two UAAP titles during his collegiate years. Boasting above average athleticism and a 6’6 frame, the Magnolia franchise (then named Purefoods TJ Giants/B-Meg Llamados) took him second overall in the 2019 draft. He would make an immediate impact in his first season, helping the team win a PBA title and edging Japeth Aguilar for the ROY honors.
Despite being a tenacious rebounder and solid interior defender, Maierhofer’s seemingly promising career fizzled in the coming years after multiple bouts with injuries and inconsistent playing time. He became a serviceable journeyman throughout his 10-year PBA tenure, suiting up for Barangay Ginebra, Barako Bull, San Miguel and GlobalPort.
He last played for San Miguel Alab Pilpinas in the 2017-18 ABL season. Although he was unable to emulate the same individual success he had in college to the pros, Maierhofer proved to be a proven winner, winning titles on every league he has ever played on.
Maierhofer joins his former Alab teammate Josh Urbiztondo, who also announced his retirement last week.
(Image from ABL)