DON’T expect to see the name of Bobby Ray Parks Jr. in this year’s PBA Rookie Draft pool.
The 22-year-old former National University star has decided to skip the August 24 draft, where he is tipped to be a top pick, to focus on getting better in the US, according to his agent Charlie Dy.
“Definitely, he is not joining the PBA draft this year,” said Dy, dampening hopes of fans to see Parks turn pro almost a month before the league holds its first official activity for its 40th season.
“Definitely not this year. Talagang bibigyan niya pa (ng time) 'yung sarili niya sa US to really give it a try. He wants to get better pa sa US,” he added.
Parks’ agent said the son of the late legendary import Bobby Parks, who has made no secret of his dream to play in the NBA, is planning to stay and train in the US for the next two years to further hone his craft.
Initially, the two-time UAAP MVP was keen to join this year’s NBA Rookie Draft, but changed his mind at the last minute as he believes he still needs to bulk up and further sharpen his skills.
He’ll most likely apply next year and, assuming that he’d be scratched from the list, he’ll have an option to apply again in 2016, where the league will be obliged to keep his name there.
“You can put your name in the draft twice. First time you put your name there, they (NBA) can take it out. But the second time, they gotta keep it there,” Parks told Spin.ph in an interview shortly after his dad's death last year.
Dy added, “Hindi pa siya sumali sa (NBA) draft kasi nag-te training pa siya. After siguro ng training niya, i-a-assess kung sasali siya next year.
“But he’ll keep on training in the hope of readying himself for the draft in the future.”
Dy said Parks has been training with a lot of basketball organizations in the US, among them the Los Angeles Lakers who the Fil-Am guard trained with on Thursday in an intense workout that nearly cost him a tooth.
“He is training with the Lakers right now. His last message nga kanina was tinamaan daw` yung mouth niya. Muntik daw natanggal ngipin niya kanina (because of the intense game),” said Dy.
“Pero okay naman daw. He is doing very well (there),” he added.
Dy also shared how Parks had been assessed by several US scouts who feel he needs to improve his body strength.
“Initially kasi ang assessment sa kanya, 'yung skill level mataas, ang kulang sa kanya yung body strength. Siyempre 'yung level sa US, very particular sila sa body strength,” he said.
“Dito kasi sa atin, wala naman tayong legit strength training for sports, at 'yun ang tinututukan niya ngayon sa US. Okay naman progress niya so far.”
Dy is optimistic Parks can achieve his NBA dream.
“I think he has a chance. The mere fact na na-invite siya to work out with them, it means nakitaan siya ng potential. Sana lang magtuloy-tuloy 'yung progress. Para 'yun, umabot talaga siya sa dream niya na makalaro sa NBA,” he said.
As for his PBA options, Dy said Parks will first focus on his bid to make it to the big league (NBA) before he turns his attention to ‘coming back home.’
Dy, who also handles PBA stars Gregory Slaughter, Sol Mercado, Chris Ellis, Jeff Chan, Ranidel de Ocampo, Ryan Reyes, Clifford Hodge, and Ryan Arana, bared teams picking early in this year’s PBA draft are already aware that Parks won't be turning pro next season.
“Alam ng mga teams na hindi siya sasali, okay naman sa kanila. Maghihintay na lang daw (yung mga teams),” said Dy.
Parks later tweeted about his experience with the Lakers, saying he wished his dad was around to see him train with "your favorite NBA team."