Gold medal doesn’t slow down globetrotting Tony Parker

Atlanta's Tony Parker (far right) and his USA U17 teammates celebrate their gold-medal-winning victory over Poland this past weekend in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by FIBA.com)

Atlanta's Tony Parker (far right) and his USA U17 teammates celebrate their gold-medal-winning victory over Poland this past weekend in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by FIBA.com)

Say this for Tony Parker: The man doesn’t mind traveling for his hoops.

In the last three weeks, the 6-foot-9 rising junior at Miller Grove High has played basketball in Texas, Lithuania and Germany. When he finally stepped off a plane in Atlanta at 3 a.m. Tuesday — fresh off the USA U17 team’s gold-medal run in Europe — he went straight to North Augusta, S.C., where he played two games yesterday afternoon at the Peach Jam with his AAU team, the Georgia Stars.

Understandably, he was a little jet-lagged.

“Yeah, I was, but I did pretty well,” Parker said. “I had a double-double.”

Parker will continue to hoop it up for three more days at the recruiting showcase tournament in North Augusta before finally heading home and sleeping in his own bed on Saturday.

It’s a moment he’s been looking forward to.

“I miss home a lot, I really do,” Parker said. “I’ve been homesick for a while. But I’ve been having fun, too.”

Parker and the U.S. team had a blast. They went 8-0 in the FIBA World Championships in one of the country’s most dominant international performances in a while. The Americans defeated Poland in the gold-medal game 111-80. It represented the sixth time they jumped the century mark.

Individually, Parker averaged 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds while backing up two frontcourt positions. His best game was in the preliminary rounds when he had 11 points in a rout of Serbia.

“I did pretty well; I played my role,” said Parker, who averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds on Miller Grove’s Class AA state championship team last season. “My job was to rebound and play defense. I didn’t get that much playing time. But I played hard whenever I got in and I had a good time.”

The stars for the U.S. team were Brad Beal of St. Louis, who averaged 18.8 points and was named MVP, and James McAdoo of Norfolk, Va., who averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds.

For Parker, it wasn’t about points and rebounds. It was about learning and experiencing. He talked about having to negotiate the language barriers and adjusting to the unique FIBA rules and playing style.

None of which was new to Parker. He traveled to Argentina with the Team USA a year ago.

I asked Parker if he planned to settled down and take some time off after his international hoopfest.

“Yeah, I’m gonna chill out at home Saturday,” he said. “But then I’ve got a workout on Sunday.”

Well, at least that will be in state.

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19 comments Add your comment

Jag Dawg

July 14th, 2010
6:27 am

Jag Dawg

July 14th, 2010
6:28 am

Just had to do it.

Jag Dawg

July 14th, 2010
6:33 am

Coach Fox,

Keep him home. Let’s close our boarders to losing the top basketball recruits.You have done an outstanding job so far. Keep it going with Parker.

(6-5)..(6-4)..(25-6)..Still own you

July 14th, 2010
8:59 am

Stop begging dawg fans….if he wants to win a little more often, then he needs to be at gt and in the best conf…the mighty acc.

Bruce Vol

July 14th, 2010
9:13 am

Way to go! Hope to see you in Knoxville
with all the other Georgia players – playing for Bruce Pearl.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

July 14th, 2010
10:22 am

Rather see him go to UGA but if not then Tech – hate to see our guys go out of state.

JT

July 14th, 2010
10:24 am

Hey, “Still own you”, I like how you reference baseball scores while making a case that GT is the place in the state for a basketball player to go. After this past season I think the players in the state have a pretty good idea which state school is going to be winning basketball games “a little more often” in the next few years and it sure isn’t looking like it’s going to be Tech. At least until Hewitt is gone.

Gerald

July 14th, 2010
10:42 am

Delusional UGA fans:

First of all, this kid is going to be a “one and done” at best. If he is smart, he will go play pro ball in Europe straight out of high school, then come to the NBA.

Second, if you are comparing Georgia Tech’s basketball program to UGA’s … that is just bizarre. Georgia Tech fans who overestimate both their tradition and the accomplishments of Bobby Cremins dislike Hewitt (and yes there is some “Tea Party” stuff going on there with the Hewitt antagonism; a lot more GT fans have the Confederate flag bumper stickers than they like to admit). But Hewitt’s tenure at Georgia Tech versus UGA’s 5 NCAA tournament appearances in 20 years (and most of those were due to the scandal-a-minute Harricks): no contest. Had UGA hired Paul Hewitt instead of Jim Harrick, UGA would have one of the better basketball programs in the SEC. Which, of course, isn’t saying much.

collegeballfan

July 14th, 2010
10:47 am

It is intriguing that this young person is able to tour the world at his age. I trust he will make the most of the opportunities.

Question: after all this why would he want to stay at home for college?

wiley

July 14th, 2010
10:48 am

Right what part of a 23-13 record, second round NCAA tourney appearance, and two players drafted would make you come to that conclusion JT? You guys finished 14-17 with a last place finish in the SEC….you guys sat at home and watched us play in the NCAA tourney. Get your head out of the clouds…GT will continue to get top flight talent…a lot of them from other states…that’s what Hewitt does. With the new ACC ESPN contract every conference game will be nationally televised and anyone who wants exposure would be making a smart decision playing in the mighty ACC.

jasont13

July 14th, 2010
11:22 am

Gerald, I love how you bring political and race onto a link that discusses a basketball recruit. Way to go it really shows who is the real racist!!

jasont13

July 14th, 2010
11:25 am

Wiley, there is promise within the UGA basketball program. You do not consistantly read or hear UGA Alums or fans wanting Coach Fox gone. Last year was a little rough however that team did beat the all mighty jackets. And lastly Gerald, most of UGA’s NCAA Tourney trips were under Tubby and Durham. I guess since I disagree with you I am a racist huh????

Jim in Ga

July 14th, 2010
11:29 am

Gerald,

I’m sure the fact that CPH’s win loss record in the ACC since 2005 have nothing to do with people being upset with him. Is it not possible that people don’t like him because he wastes more talent than anyone in college basketball?

wiley

July 14th, 2010
11:50 am

Jasont13…but he has been there one year. You guys dont know anything yet….Hewitt has had ten years and yes Tech alums are not happy with the results. But at the end of the day GT has been an above average program with a very recent appearance in the NCAA championship game and 5 appearances in the NCAA tourney this decade. I understand UGA has promise….but a lot of you are forcing yourselves to see something that is not yet there. This next year will let me know about how good of a coach Fox is…because he has a little bit of talent on that team. Enough to compete in the SEC…but those expecting a huge turn around may be disappointed. You dont go from a perennial losing program to National champs overnight…just my 2 cents.

cattledawg

July 14th, 2010
11:57 am

I guess the aau team an team USA pick up the tab for all his travel?

just a fan

July 14th, 2010
1:55 pm

Can we sign a BIG guy someone in the 6-11 plus range

jdog

July 14th, 2010
2:08 pm

Wasn’t this article about Tony Parker?
This young man is a great basketball player who will someday go to the NBA. He just needs to decide which university and coach will best prep him for his future. He needs to go to a team on the rise and be part of something that’s going to be exciting and take College Basketball by storm.
He said he’s homesick.The best team for this young man is in his home state. Everybody who reads this knows which team I’m referring to.

The best of luck to Tony Parker whatever he decides.

POAD

July 14th, 2010
3:05 pm

Kid is getting a lot of game time for sure.

Red

July 14th, 2010
3:20 pm

Great Job little cousin, keep it goin!!!!!!!!!!!!