Ray Parks is finally ready to make his way into the professional league when he joins the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association Annual Rookie Draft tomorrow at Robinson’s Place Ermita.
Parks, the son of seven-time PBA Best Import awardee Bobby Sr., said he considers himself a veteran after everything he went through following his graduation from National University five years ago.
“I really don’t consider myself as a rookie,” said the 25-year old combo guard who was once hailed as a lottery pick in the National Basketball Association.
“It’s my first year in this league, but I felt that I’ve already had enough experience playing professionally.”
The rookie tag appears not suitable for Parks.
After winning two Most Valuable Player awards in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, Parks campaigned in the PBA D-League and tried his luck in the NBA D-League and NBA Summer League, where he had a short stint with Texas Legends and Dallas Mavericks.
Then, he suited up for Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League where he won a title and back-to-back local MVP awards.
More than that, he saw action in the Southeast Asian Games and FIBA tournaments.
“People get the misconception that if you don’t play in the PBA, you’re still not a pro. You can play in so many different leagues and be a professional,” he said.
“I’ve played in many professional leagues, local and across Asia so I consider myself a professional.”
Parks said his journey prepared him for his ultimate destination — the PBA.
“These experiences have prepared me well enough for this situation. To answer everybody’s question, it’s that you join the PBA when you’re ready,” he added.
“I’ve seen a lot of things and played in a lot of leagues and for me, it’s time to enter the PBA.”
Blackwater has been very vocal about its interest on the 6-foot-4 Parks, especially after Columbian locking its sight on CJ Perez as the top overall pick.
Parks, however, is set to miss the selection process as it coincides with Alab Pilipinas’ road match against CLS Knights in Jakarta.