Georgia Tech officials told the AJC on Friday that basketball recruit Bobby Parks Jr. has not been released from his letter of intent because the ACC school is investigating further.
The 6-foot-4 guard is dubbed the “mystery recruit” and Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory has said it’s “the most bizarre recruiting situation that I have ever seen.”
Gregory told the AJC that he would grant a release to Parks, if requested, along with making some more interesting comments. It was requested by Parks but it hasn’t been granted yet and its future status is unknown. A Georgia Tech spokesman on Friday:
“At this time, Georgia Tech has not released Bobby Parks, Jr., from his national letter-of-intent. We would like to investigate further his interest in attending Georgia Tech, and also his eligibility status according to ACC and NCAA rules. To this end, we need to speak directly with Bobby and his family in order to get the information we need. At that time, we will be able to make a decision regarding his future at Georgia Tech.”
The 6-foot-4 guard was recruited and signed in last November’s early period with ex-Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt. Gregory, the new coach of the Yellow Jackets, has only had contact via email with Parks and his family, who live in the Philippines.
The recruit’s father wrote in an email to the AJC on Thursday saying that Parks had requested a scholarship release from Georgia Tech because of the coaching change.
It’s a confusing situation, a recruiting soap equal to or greater than what’s going on with Rockdale County High School’s Kevin Ware, the former Tennessee recruit who de-committed from Central Florida on Thursday night.
This is what happened: After SI.com wrote about Parks at a 2009 high school all-star camp in Philadelphia, he played his junior year at Melrose High in Memphis, winning a state title alongside Adonis Thomas, the No. 1 recruit in all of Tennessee. In the summer of 2010, Parks’ father, Bobby Ray Sr., a former Memphis State star who’s a basketball legend in the Philippines, having been named the PBA’s “best import” player a record seven straight times from 1987-93, took a job as the sports development director at National University in Manila. He took Parks Jr. along and enrolled him in home-schooling. Parks Sr. was also in the middle of a four-year battle with laryngeal cancer, and while he received successful treatment on his malignant tumor, his son remained with him in Manila.
By late 2010, Parks Jr. obtained the credits necessary to enroll at National University as a freshman, and began starring for its basketball team, the Bulldogs, in offseason tournaments. He’s expected to lead them in the 2011 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season that runs from July through October. Breathless commenters on a story from a recent game in which Parks Jr. scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists said that he should be nicknamed “the phenom” and was playing like a “mini LeBron.” While Rivals ranks Parks Jr. as the No. 117 prospect in his class, he is easily the most dominant 18-year-old in the Philippines.
An NCAA spokesperson told SI.com that if Parks Jr. wants to play Division I in the future, he’d be treated like a college transfer rather than a recruit, meaning that he’d have to sit out one full season before taking the floor. He could apply for a transfer waiver due to the circumstances of his departure from the U.S.; Parks Sr. says that had his employment situation not necessitated going abroad, his son would have remained in Memphis, on track to enroll at Georgia Tech. As it stands, Parks Jr. has not yet submitted any paperwork to the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.
Check back for updates.
Meanwhile, here’s some old YouTube video of Parks Sr. and Jr.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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