IF there's one thing Bobby Ray Parks wants to do after the death of his iconic dad, it is to honor his father's name and legacy by becoming the best basketball player that he can ever be.
Breaking his silence days after the death on of his father and namesake, Parks said he wants nothing more than to make his dad proud by living up to his name and continuing to live by the values the seven-time PBA best import had taught him.
"Gusto ko pong maging branch, parang extension niya lang po sa floor, sa mga people that he knew, pati sa mga fans niya rin po," the two-time UAAP MVP said in an interview with Sports Pilipinas. "Gusto ko lang po to live up to what they see in my dad."
Parks added: "Gusto ko rin po na i-continue yung legacy niya, just to carry the Parks name. Especially his name niya nga po eh. Gusto ko lang po na make siya na proud. To make the decisions that he wanted both of us to make."
Parks Sr. died on Saturday aged 51 after a prolonged battle with cancer. His remains were cremated on Friday at the Heritage Park in Taguig City.
His son said Parks exerted all efforts to prepare him for that moment, writing down notes and communicating through his iPod when the cancer that had hit his larynx and lungs made it difficult for him to speak.
"Opo, naramdaman ko naman po na the past months na there were slim chances (for Parks Sr. to live) po pero we were just living by faith po. Yung focus lang po namin na just prayers, just staying positive po," the 20-year-old National University star said.
"Kahit yung dad ko po, nahirapan siyang magsalita dahil sa (sakit sa) respiratory system niya pero nag-iPod pa, nagsusulat sa papel, naramdaman ko naman na pine-prepare niya po ako pero ako naman matigas ang ulo rin naman. Sabi ko, 'Dad, ayokong marinig yan. Ayoko munang marinig yan,' ganun."
Parks' death was the second tragedy to hit his son in a little over a year. Bobby Ray's girlfriend, former News5 sports reporter Maan Panganiban, died of lymphoma in January 2012, and the young Parks said dealing with her death prepared him for another great loss in his life.
"'Yung dinaanan ko yung kay Maan, it’s a big stepping stone to this. It would be sad pero I know and I'm thankful that God gave me my dad for 20 years na rin po. Life lessons learned hindi ko po talaga makakalimutan," he said.
One lesson his dad taught him, Bobby Ray said, has also helped him cope with his loss.
"One thing po na standout po eh yung turning every negative thing into a positive. Kahit ano po ka-negative ng situation, no matter ano man itsura niya sa labas po, there’s always a positive po na makukuha. 'Yun po yung talagang in-instill sa akin ng tatay ko na nakatatak po sa puso ko," he said.
Besides, he said, there are now not just one but two angels looking after him from above.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: For the full interview, watch Sports Pilipinas over GMA News TV on Sunday, 11:15 a.m.)