PH-born Ray Parks makes it to NBA D-League

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Ray Parks hopes to become the first Philippine-born player to see action in the NBA D-League after the Texas Legends picked him first in the 2015 Rookie Draft Saturday, Oct. 31.

“He’s a quiet player but he gets the job done,” said coach Nick Van Exel after his Legends - the developmental team of the Dallas Mavericks - made the 22-year-old Parks their first choice and the 25th overall pick.

Parks, a two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player for National University, was left undrafted in the 2015 NBA Rookie Draft last June but wound up playing for the Mavericks during the NBA Summer League.

This time, the son of the late American Bobby Parks, a former seven-time PBA Best Import, and Filipino Marifer Barbosa, hopes to do well in the D-League in a bid to become the first Filipino to play in the NBA.

“I love Bobby Ray Parks,” Van Exel, a former NBA All-Star, said in a video of the team’s post-draft party. “He’s the guy who can shoot the ball well. He can attack the basket, he’s a great defender, he plays the passing lanes.”

The Legends kick off their campaign versus the Austin Spurs on Nov. 13.

Another notable pick in the Draft was Jean Victor Nguidjol, the Cameroonian center who suited up for Lyceum in the NCAA this season.

He was selected 16th overall by the Spurs.

Parks is the second Philippine-born player to get drafted in the NBA D-League since the Santa Cruz Warriors selected Ginebra player Japeth Aguilar in the seventh round in 2012.

But the Warriors later waived Aguilar, who played for NCAA Division I school Western Kentucky in college.

The 6-foot-4 Parks averaged 3.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10.5 minutes in the Summer League.

“He has got a lot of upside and could really develop into an effective player for us,” said Legends president Malcolm Farmer.

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