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Bobby Ray Barbosa Parks Jr. (born February 19, 1993) is a Filipino-American professional basketball player for the Blackwater Elite of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). A 6'4" guard, he played college basketball for National University for three years before declaring for the NBA draft in 2015 where he went undrafted.

Early life and high school career

Parks was born in Metro Manila to Bobby Parks Sr. and Marifer Celine Barbosa. His father was playing basketball in the Philippines.[2] Parks Sr. had been drafted 58th overall in the third round of the 1984 NBA draft and went on to become a seven-time Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Best Import awardee and Hall of Famer. Parks Sr. and Barbosa separated. Barbosa moved to Los Angeles in 2003, while Parks Sr. left for Memphis, Tennessee, in 2005. Parks and his younger sister, Celine, remained in the Philippines until 2006, when his sister went to live with their mother, while he went to live with his father and his stepfamily, who were also Filipino.[2]

After moving to Memphis, Parks started playing organized basketball at the age of 13. As a freshman and sophomore, he attended St. George's Independent School in Collierville, Tennessee, where he was named Tennessee's Division II-A Mr. Basketball as the state's private school player of the year in 2009.[2][3]

Parks transferred to Melrose High School for the 2009–10 season and helped his team win a class AAA state championship. In November 2010, he committed to Georgia Tech as the No. 31-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2011, but later decommitted and followed his father back to the Philippines.[4]

College career

In September 2010, Parks enrolled in a computer course at National University in Manila with the hopes of playing for the NU Bulldogs in 2011.[5] Since Parks came from a foreign high school, he had to sit out one year before the 2011 season, which prevented him from winning Rookie of the Year as he would no longer be considered a fresh graduate.[6] Needless to say, he still qualified for the MVP award, which he eventually won during his first University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season with the Bulldogs, as Parks averaged 20.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game and was named the Most Valuable Player of seasons 74 and 75.[2]

Professional career

In 2015, Parks was in pursuit of being the first Filipino-born player to play in the NBA. He became automatically eligible for the 2015 NBA draft as an international player who turned 22 during the calendar year of the draft.[7] In June 2015, prior to the 2015 NBA draft, Parks was invited to work out for the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics.[8]

Parks went undrafted, but received an invitation from the Dallas Mavericks to play for their Summer League team.[9][10] In six games for Dallas, he averaged 3.0 points and 1.7 rebounds per game,[11] becoming the first Filipino-born player to play in the Summer League.[2]

On October 31, 2015, Parks was selected by the Texas Legends in the second round of the 2015 NBA Development League Draft.[12][13] He became the second Filipino to be drafted in the NBA D-League after Japeth Aguilar in 2012.[14]

Parks made his debut with the Legends on November 23, 2015 against the Austin Spurs. He went scoreless in 10 minutes of play and went 0-of-2 from the field.[15] On December 13, 2015, he scored his first basket for the Legends. Parks' putback layup with 14.5 seconds remaining gave him his first-ever basket in the D-League. He also finished with one assist and three rebounds in six minutes of action against the Sioux Falls Skyforce.[16] On April 1, 2016, he scored a career-high 16 points against the Oklahoma City Blue.[17] In 2015–16, Parks averaged 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 32 games.[18]

After the Legends did not retain Parks for the 2016–17 season, he entered the 2016 NBA Development League Draft, where he was selected in the sixth round by the Westchester Knicks.[19] He was unsuccessful in gaining an opening-night roster spot with Westchester, as the team waived him on November 9, 2016.[20][21]

On November 18, 2016 Parks officially joined Alab Pilipinas of the ASEAN Basketball League.[22] On December 11, 2016, he scored a career-high 41 points and 14 rebounds against the Kaohsiung Truth.[23] After his first season with Alab Pilipinas, he was named the local MVP of the season.[24]

National team career

In 2015, Parks played for Gilas Cadets at the SEABA championships and the Southeast Asian Games.[25]

In July 2016, Parks played for Gilas Pilipinas at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.[26]

Parks was part of the team that represented the Philippines in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.[27] They won the Gold medal after beating Indonesia 94-55, winning his 3rd SEA Games Gold medal in the process.[28]

Career statistics

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