Texas Legends coach Nick Van Exel sees Ray Parks as leader on and off the court in NBA D-League
Former NBA All Star and Texas Legends coach Nick Van Exel starts the conversation about their top draft pick by saying "I love Ray Parks." Van Exel Photo from the Legends facebook page / Ray Parks by Jerome Ascano

THE Texas Legends training camp opens on Monday in Frisco (Tuesday, Manila time), and coach Nick Van Exel is excited to start working with the retooled squad where Filipino star Bobby Ray Parks is set to see action.

Seventeen players will battle it out for places on the Legends team in the NBA Development League.

Only three are returning players and the team is excited with the new batch of players, with Parks emerging as Texas’ top selection in the draft at 25th overall, sixth in the second round.

“I love Bobby Ray Parks, I thought you know when he played with the Mavericks Summer League team, he’s a guy who can shoot the ball well, he can attack the basket,” said Van Exel, a former NBA All-Star.

Van Exel, a tough guard who played with a teenage Kobe Bryant with the Lakers in the late 90s, was impressed both with Parks’ talent and work ethic.

“He’s a great defender, he plays the passing lanes, he goes after steals.”

[See Ray Parks picked in NBA D-League draft by Mavs affiliate Texas Legends at 26th overall]

Listed at 6 feet 4 inches, Parks is only 22 years old but Van Exel believes the two-time MVP awardee in the UAAP could be a leader both on and off the court for the Legends.

“He’s a quiet player but he gets the job done. I think he’s the type of player that can be a leader in your locker room just by the way he works,” he said.

“He’s a hard worker, he just want good things to happen to himself and his team, so I‘m real excited about Bobby.”

The Legends were 22-28 last season and are expecting to make a big leap with the retooled squad.

“I thought we did a great job of picking guys who play both ends of the court … we’ve got guys who can score the ball, whether it’s penetration and attacking or just flat out shooting the three,” said Van Exel.

“So we got a great group of guys, I’m really excited to get the opportunity to coach ... looking forward to it.”

Texas Legends president Malcolm Farmer is also upbeat about the team’s chances this season and described Parks as a “young man from the Philippines who’s got a lot of upside and can really develop into an effective player for us.”


Renaldo Balkman, banned from playing in the PBA after an outburst during a game an altercation with his own teammates, played last season with the Legends.

The Legends start the new campaign on the road against the Austin Spurs on November 13 and Oklahoma City Blue November 15.

They play their home opener on November 20 against the Spurs.

2015 Draft Party Recap

The 2015 #DLeagueDraft is in the books. Legends selected Dallas Mavericks Summer League player Bobby Ray Parks Jr. in the 2nd round of the draft. Check out the recap video and read more about #DraftDay at TexLegends.com Legends Select Five in Draft: http://on.nba.com/1GF02G9Training Camp Roster: http://on.nba.com/1OfGjj3

Posted by Texas Legends on Saturday, October 31, 2015
From the Texas Legends Facebook page

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph