Ray Parks: Henry Sy touched everybody’s lives
MANILA, Philippines – Ray Parks is now known as one of the best young basketball players in the country.
But before he was a two-time UAAP MVP, a top PBA overall pick and a reigning two-time ABL MVP for Alab Pilipinas, he was just a young teen living in the shadow of his father – former 7-time PBA Best Import and Hall of Famer Bobby Parks.
Ray had all the talent in the world like his father, but one man had the vision to first guide the person behind all that talent: Henry Sy Sr.
The 25-year old was all smiles after his Alab Pilipinas turned back Thailand’s Mono Vampire in a 110-100 overtime win last Sunday, January 19, but he took a deep breath and turned serious when asked about the late Sy.
"He’s definitely a father figure to me," he said. "He’s helped not only me but my whole family. Throughout rough times, he was there for us and I truly appreciate him. My condolences go out to the Sy family and I’ll definitely be paying my respects."
"He touched everybody’s lives with what he has done here on earth, with the malls that he put up and especially the foundations that he helped," he added. "He has definitely a heart for that and a heart for their education."
Under the world-renowned tycoon’s support, Parks blossomed into a bona fide basketball star and developed a veteran’s mind in a rookie’s body. Playing for the Sy-backed NU Bulldogs, he won back-to-back UAAP MVP awards from 2011-2012 and led his team to the Final Four from 2012-2013. (LIST: Under Henry Sy, NU bags 33 UAAP championships)
From there, he went undrafted in the 2015 NBA draft but got called to play for the NBA D-League, becoming only the second Filipino to have that distinction since Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar.
"Sad times, but I know that they have a good group of people around him. He was a great man," Parks continued. "He not only influenced just me, but the whole world." – Rappler.com