The reality is that Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is unlikely to be drafted. The 6'4" lefty shooting guard from Memphis and Manila hasn't played anywhere outside the Philippines since high school and although he dominated the college basketball association there the last four years, it's a long leap from the NU Bulldogs in the UAAP to the NBA.
But the Nets decision to workout Parks next Wednesday is big news in the country of 100 million across the Pacific. . The Nets have a LOT of fans in the Philippines. In terms of international fans, no nation outside Canada --and some months no nation -- is more represented on NetsDaily than the Philippines. And sources inside the Nets tell us the same thing.
So word that Parks will be in next week is a big story among Filipinos and Filipino-Americans ... and particularly those who are Nets fans. And it's not about marketing. Parks does have talent.
The son of an American father and Filipino mother, he was a high school star in Memphis, winning a state championship in Tennessee alongside Adonis Thomas, who played for the Nets D-League and summer league teams. He accepted a scholarship to Georgia Tech before deciding to return to Manila to be with his dying father, a former star in the Philippines Basketball Association. And last summer, after a workout in L.A., he had an invite to play for the Lakers summer league team but paperwork messed up his chances.
Thomas gave his teammate a shout out after hearing the news...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/NetsDaily">@NetsDaily</a> I didn't see that. Tell him I said congrats and good luck! Let me know how he does! He's a stud!</p>— Adonis Thomas (@AllDayThomas) <a href="https://twitter.com/AllDayThomas/status/609711885458386944">June 13, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Here's a highlight package, which obviously doesn't show much other than how easily he dominated the college basketball scene in the Philippines. There's shooting skill and athleticism on display.
So why are the Nets so popular in the Philippines, making Parks workout such big news? One theory is that when Yi Jianlian was in New Jersey, the Nets dominated NBA TV's Asia feed. Another is that all it took was a couple of visits to Manila by Vince Carter a decade ago. In any event, there's a lot of hope now that Parks workout will lead to a deeper connection.