Ray-Ray Parks trains with Smart Gilas, impresses coach

By June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines?Ray-Ray Parks, son of seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks, has joined Smart Gilas in training and impressed no less than team manager and San Beda coach Frankie Lim.

?He?s been practicing with us,? said Lim on Monday. ?Ray is good. He?s preparing for college but it will be good for the national team if we could keep him.?

The 6-foot-3 Parks has opted to hone his skills with Gilas instead of playing for the junior squad in the ongoing Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Under-18 tournament in Rangoon, Myanmar.

Parks, 17, will represent the country in the 3-on-3 basketball competition of the 1st Youth Olympic Games in Singapore next month.

But Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman has no immediate place for Parks in the RP roster set to compete in the Asian Games in Guangzhou on Nov. 12-27.

?He has great talent. There?s so much room for improvement for this player,?? said Toroman.

Parks, whose mother Shane is Filipino, skipped his senior year at Melrose High School in Memphis, Tennesee and came to the country to train and play for the national squad.

?I think he?ll be more ready (for college) when he trains first with the national team,?? said Bobby Parks.

The young Parks is now enrolled at National University for a one-year residency just in case he joins the Bulldogs next year in the UAAP.

Parks said several US NCAA Division I schools such as Seton Hall, University of Memphis, St. John?s, Mississippi and Arkansas have standing offers for his son.

?It?s kind of confusing. We want to make the right decision,?? said Parks.

?I want to give him the best opportunity available. With his skills and proper training, I think he has a chance to make it big time,? he added.

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