Thursday, January 6, 2011

UAAP Decision II: National U Boogaloo

On the heels of Kiefer Ravena's impending "Decision" comes another potential UAAP cager making a tough choice: Should Bobby Ray, Jr. up to his letter of intent to Georgia Tech, or honor an earlier commitment to National University?

Well, according to a new Yahoo post by Patrica Bermudez-Hizon, his answer will come in a "couple of weeks" according to Parks' father, former PBA import, Bobby Parks, Sr.

The article seems to be quite optimistic about his chances of staying, quoting Parks, Sr. saying:

"(Ray) is still weighing it out.  Of course Georgia Tech is a top ACC school but we’re also looking at things in terms of being able to play for the national team.  He really wants to serve the country and get some international experience....One thing is he grew up here, hence the love for the Philippines...I also feel this is a fairly quicker way to get into the NBA because now international basketball players are a big thing.  We’re looking at that also.  He would like to be the first Filipino to make it to the NBA and I think he would have to lay the ground work here, become very familiar with the Filipinos here, serve the country and get the fan base behind him. Then if he goes to the States, go to college or wherever there would be a big Filipino community, they would come out and really support him."
 Personally though, I don't really find any compelling reason for him to stay. He'd actually have an easier time playing for the national team should he go to Georgia Tech, as most international tournaments run from July to October, exactly when it's summer in the U.S.

Furthermore, it'll be a lot easier to get drafted into the NBA playing college hoops in the U.S. as it'll be easier for scouts to compare his performance versus other Americans. There's not a lot NBA scouts are going to learn if he plays here, out of position, versus players much shorter than him. 

Finally, the longer he stretches out his "collegiate" stint, by say, playing a year or so in N.U., and then spending another year or so in the U.S., the bigger the hit his draft stock is going to take. NBA scouts hate old college players, and so it makes more sense for him to play one year in the A.C.C. where Georgia Tech plays, and then declare for the NBA Draft in 2012. All that hogwash about getting the Filipino community to support him is nonsense. He'll get the support regardless of where he plays, knowing Filipinos. 

All that said, the post can be seen in the light of his father laying the groundwork for him staying, and should that be the case, Parks, Jr. faces a risk that might keep him sidelined even longer.

There has been significant rumbling that several schools would be banding together to question Parks, Jr.'s eligibility for the upcoming Season 74. They would be attacking him on the grounds that he never fully established his high school credentials locally, which are needed for him to immediately play for N.U. next season (the best example would be how Kirk Long graduated high school here, before immediately going to play for Ateneo), thus forcing him to sit out the two year period for foreign transfers (ala Emmanuel Mbe).

I had always thought that Parks would drag this decision out until June, before the season would start, to allow him to keep an "escape hatch" so to speak, to allow him to go abroad, should he in fact be made to sit out.

The timing of this decision then, becomes rather questionable. Perhaps Georgia Tech has become antsy and is demanding an answer now (a strong possibility, given that in U.S. NCAA culture, a letter of intent is NOT something you back out of with good reason, for fear of drawing serious flack and harming your reputation) or N.U. is certain that they'll be able to beat any accusation from the other UAAP member schools.

In all, coupled with the Ravena "decision," this will make for a fun January, for UAAP fans

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