Parks misses home, family as he chases NBA dream
Ray Parks may have seen limited action in the developmental league, but the 22-year-old Filipino standout knows there’s no shortcut to chasing his NBA dream.
Parks, the first Philippine-born player to suit up in the NBA D-League with the Texas Legends, admits that he misses home but manages to stay on track of his goals despite the rigorous competition.
“We all know that the D-League is a grind,” Parks said in a conference call with the Philippine media Wednesday.
“It’s a tough thing for the players because there are a lot of heartaches and heartbreaks, but it makes you stronger. And going through this process right now, it’s a sacrifice not being with my family, not being in the place I love.”
Parks got picked 25th overall by the Legends in the 2015 Rookie Draft early this month. And the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player noted his improved skills the past months, where he also played for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League.
“My shooting has really developed over here, at the same time, I’m just getting more of that basketball IQ,” said Parks.
“The whole team is required to defend,” added the 6-foot-5 southpaw guard. “And if that’s the aspect that I must bring to the table, then I’d love to do that. Anything really to just keep me out there on the floor and help my team get a win. I’ll take the challenge and take that role.”
Aside from his family, Parks has been in touch with the National University team management, including coach Eric Altamirano, and his former teammates.
Parks keeps tabs of the Bulldogs, who recently failed to defend their UAAP crown after crashing out of the Final Four, and said he felt “sad about that one.”
While he still remains open to play for the national team, Parks noted he’s virtually representing the country in every stint. “Wherever I go, I’ve got the Philippines on my back,” he said.
And there’s no deadline for his NBA goals either as Parks opts to just learn and go through the American basketball experience.
“Right now I do miss the Philippines,” said Parks, the son of the late American Bobby Parks, a former seven-time PBA Best Import, and Filipino Marifer Barbosa.
“I have thoughts of coming back, but my commitment is here, my heart is here right now.”
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