Parks aims to become best version of himself
Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
STAR/File
Parks aims to become best version of himself
Roy Luarca (Philstar.com) - August 4, 2020 - 3:31pm

MANILA, Philippines – Being the namesake of his legendary father is both a boon and a bane for Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

He was hailed a bright prospect with the mere mention of his name.

True enough, talent runs in his veins, embedded in his genes.

The son of the PBA's only seven-time best import and Hall of Famer is worthy to carry on the Parks legacy.

When the elder Parks died of lung cancer at 51 in 2013, Rayray, then just 20 years old, was left to exploit his basketball talents.

Playing for the National University Bulldogs, the 6-foot-4 combo guard became two-time UAAP MVP and was wooed by many PBA teams.

Parks, however, opted to fly over to the United States and try to crack the NBA.

He fell short, going undrafted in 2015 before having uneventful stints in the NBA Summer League and the D-League.

Rather than toil along, Parks chose to return to the Philippines and latched on with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League, where he garnered three MVP awards and one title.

An enticing offer from  Mandaluyong El Tigre came along and Parks landed in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

He shone despite the tough, rugged defense being clamped down on him without letup but couldn't push his team to the Datu Cup playoffs.

After years of skipping the PBA draft, Parks joined the 2018 class and was picked No. 2 by Blackwater Elite.

As predicted, Parks thrived and posted averages of 20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists with Blackwater, which eventually traded him to TNT Ka Tropa for three players.

In 32 games combined for Blackwater and TNT, Parks averaged 18.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.4 assist, and 1.4 steals, proving once again he's MVP material.

Parks is far from satisfied. He wants to be a defensive stopper and power TNT to a PBA title.

If he can't be better than his father, he ought to be the best Ray Parks Jr.

PBA RAY PARKS
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