Ray Parks would ‘love’ to play for Gilas as he chases NBA dream
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American standout Bobby Ray Parks is currently in the NBA D-League as he chases his dream of one day making it to the NBA. Still, many of his thoughts remain at home in the Philippines, including possibly playing for his home country’s national basketball team.
Parks, who was raised in the Philippines and played 3 years of college basketball in the UAAP, said that he would “love” to play for Gilas Pilipinas if the opportunity presents itself.
“Well if I have the privilege of doing that then I’d love to,” Parks said in a conference call on Wednesday, November 25. “I mean, I’m not only representing the country by just playing in Gilas, but also wherever I go. I always have the Philippines on my back.”
Parks was also asked how he gauged Gilas’ chances of making it to the 2016 Rio Olympics through the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that’s scheduled to take place in July.
Only 3 slots will be available as the Philippines faces tough competition such as Iran, Greece, France, Italy, Canada, and more.
“I really can’t say right now, because, I mean, with that time span they can, you know, really grow more as a team,” he said.
“I believe as long as they play with puso (heart), then we’ll have the chance to defeat these teams and just give it our all.”
Parks won two MVPs with National University in the UAAP and recently declared for the 2015 NBA Draft. Despite going unselected, he was invited to join the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league team, and was recently drafted 25th overall by the Mavs’ NBA D-League team - the Texas Legends - in the 2015 NBA D-League Draft.
“I miss my family and the Filipino culture,” said the 22-year-old who was also a PBA D-League MVP in 2015. “I really fell in love with it growing up and it’s one of the things that always stuck in my heart.”
Parks is currently averaging just 1 rebound in 3 games with the Legends and has played a total of only 25 minutes.
During the conference call, Parks requested his supporters in the Philippines to continue supporting him, as they’ve done since he started his NBA journey.
“Patuloy niyo po akong suportahan sa (Please continue to support me in my) journey ko into making it in the NBA and being here with the Texas Legends,” said Parks.
“Thank you so much for just being my side and continue po to stay positive po sa lahat nang nagaganap ngayon (with everything happening), and may God bless you all.” – Rappler.com