Bobby Parks Sr. Speaks on Son's Commitment

Combo Guard Ray Parks

College recruiting today is usually done pretty much by the book. Young talent often discovered when in their early teens, rated by services against others at their position, in their class, etc. The story of the latest Georgia Tech basketball recruit is far from the ho-hum version.

Where to begin? He was born in the Philippines to an American father and Filipino mother and was raised there. Did I mention his father is considered, "The Michael Jordan," of Filipino basketball? During the '89 season he averaged 52.6 points per game with a 72-point explosion in one contest.

The newest commit to Tech is a 6-4, 200 pound southpaw point guard named Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. His dad, Bobby Ray Parks, Sr., was a star at then Memphis State in the 80's before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. When that didn't work out he moved on to pro stints with the CBA in the States, then to France, Indonesia, and eventually the Philippines, where his career is legendary.

We reached Sr. at nine in the morning as there is a 13 hour time difference from Atlanta. The term "under the radar" applied to his son's recruitment. "He played in the Philippines until the eighth grade when we moved back to Memphis where he played some AAU ball 33M which was the NBA'S Mike Miller's team." Ray Parks spent the 9th and 10th grades at St. George's Independent School where he played with his cousin Elliot Williams who played for Duke and Memphis and is now on the injured reserve list for the Portland Trailblazers.

Following his two years with St George's, Ray played with a Melrose team that won the Tennessee AAA state title. The team included top recruits Adonis Thomas and Chris Jones. ‘They were loaded again this year so we decided to come back to the Philippines where he plays for the National Olympic Team and is home schooled."

The question many are asking is how did Ray slip by so many schools. "The LeBron James Camp wanted him but was fully booked. He played in the Nike Global Tournament in Portland this summer and a Nike AAU event so interest started to build then."

Memphis was one school that may have been in the process based on location. "Coach Pastner was interested by they were pretty well stocked at the point." Parks also heard from Louisville, New Mexico, Arkansas, South Florida and some others.

Parks chose Georgia Tech for academics first and then basketball. "They wanted us and felt Bobby Ray could help the program and then you throw in the ACC and Coach Hewitt's track record for developing kids, especially guards. I'll be a long way from Atlanta and we feel like Bobby Ray will have great family support and he'll be in good hands."

Despite being so far away from Atlanta, Parks Sr. is planning on seeing him play. "I'm counting on that even though I've accepted a position in the Philippines." Parks will be working at a university where he assists in training and working with the school's athletes.

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