TWO coaches who had the good fortune of working with Bobby Parks Sr. during his stellar PBA career said the late import had been a positive influence to the players and the league itself.
Former Shell head mentor Perry Ronquillo admitted having received one of the best coaching advices from Parks himself, while bosom buddy Norman Black said the cager exemplified the attitude that is ‘sometimes missing’ among the current batch of reinforcements playing in the PBA.
Ronquillo recalled how anxious he was during the time when he was about to make his coaching debut with the Turbo Chargers, where he had Parks as his first ever deputy.
“I was a total bundle of nerves as I was about to coach my very first pro game,” said the coach now based in Vallejo, California. “When we were about to step out of the dugout, he (Parks) took me aside and told me, `This is what you’ve worked for and dreamed about all your life. Just relax and do your thing.’
“That was one of the best pieces of advice I had ever gotten in my career,” Ronquillo shared to Spin.ph.
Black meanwhile, remember Parks as a `good person’ and a `good example’ to the league, which of late has seen imports Renaldo Balkman, Walter Sharpe, and Jamelle Cornley find themselves in hot water.
“He was always a positive representative of imports in the PBA,” said Black, who coached Parks in his first ever conference in the league that resulted in a championship in 1987.
“(It is) something that is sometimes missing these days.”
Ronquillo, who was shocked to hear from Spin.ph about the death of Parks, also sees the former University of Memphis star in the same manner as Black.
“He’s very soft spoken and never really bragged about himself. People who knew him would tell you he was quiet and very humble,” he said of Parks, who was in his final playing year with Shell when Ronquillo came in as assistant coach.
Although a great import himself, Black considers Parks as among the greatest.
“He will go down as one of the greatest PBA imports of all time,” said Black, godfather to Parks’ superstar son Ray Jr.
To Ronquillo, Parks is a legend.
“Philippine professional basketball has lost a legend. Ray-Ray, his son has lost a father. We have lost a friend and a great man. All of us, however, will never forget Bobby.”