Parks Jr.ís boyhood friend has come to save the day for Alab

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 06, 2017 07:23 PM
Parks Jr.ís boyhood friend has come to save the day for Alab
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. Ray Parks Jr. and Sampson Carter go way back.

Unlike fellow new import James Hughes, Sampson Carter wasn’t prepared for how hot and humid the Philippines is.

“Yesterday was my first day here and I was taken aback while playing in the heat,” Carter shared after his first practice with Alab Pilipinas last Thursday.

Fortunately for the American, he had a good ol’ pal to help make everything cool. “I love the team especially because me and Bobby are really good friends. I’ve known him for a long time so we have a good connection,” he shared.

Carter was, of course, referring to Filipino star Bobby Ray Parks Jr. whom, as it turns out, is a long-time friend. “When Bobby was about 15 or 16, he moved to Memphis for a little while, right? I lived in Memphis and he joined my AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team,” he said.

He then continued, “Then we reconnected a while ago because we were both in training camp for the (Westchester) Knicks. We reconnected and Bobby ended up getting me out here.”

The six-foot-eight forward said the Filipino was already selling him on Alab while they were both trying their luck in the NBA D-League. “After some time, I passed up on a couple of other offers and Bobby called me and was like, ‘Yo, we really need some help,’” he narrated.

He then continued, “It just worked out in my favor, in Bobby’s favor, in the team’s favor. This is just perfect.”

According to Parks Jr., he was actually just 14-years-old when he and Carter were teammates in Memphis. “We go way back. I used to be the young’n (young one), just sitting on the bench, clapping for them, and playing garbage minutes,” he recalled.

He then continued, “It feels great to play with him again and have us play for my country. I’m just glad he came in and was open-minded about it.”

For Alab’s new import, it was actually an easy decision – all because of his Filipino friend. “I have heard about the Philippines before Bobby, but knowing Bobby and researching what he did for this country, it touched me. I can say he’s the reason why I’m out here,” he expressed.

And in the end, Carter said there was no better place for him to continue his career than alongside his good ol’ pal. “(The trip) was worth it. You know, you just gotta sacrifice and I think the Philippines is worth the sacrifice,” he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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