Friday, June 15, 2007

Immigrant of the Day: Tony Parker

Parker William Anthony (Tony) Parker, II (born May 17, 1982) is a National Basketball Association player with the San Antonio Spurs and captain of France's national basketball team. After playing for two years in the French basketball league, Parker entered the 2001 NBA Draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs. He quickly became the team's starting point guard, and has been selected as an NBA All-Star twice and helped the Spurs win three of their four NBA Championships.

Parker is currently engaged to "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria (who as a native of Corpus Christi, Texas would not be eligible for Immigrant of the Day honors), and the two are to set to be wed in July 2007.  Tn_evalongoria_john_shea_14191415

Last night, Parker was named 2007 NBA Finals MVP as the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 0.

Parker was born in Bruges, Belgium, but raised in France. His father, Tony Parker Sr. played basketball at Loyola University Chicago, as well as professionally overseas. His two younger brothers, T.J. and Pierre, would go on to play basketball at professional and college levels, respectively.

Tony was asked to attend the National Institute for Sports and Physical Education in Paris. He turned professional and signed with Paris Basket Racing in 1999. He then played two years with Racing in the French championship before entering the 2001 NBA Draft.

Parker was drafted 28th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. When Parker played against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 30, 2001, he became the third French player ever to play in an NBA game, after Tariq Abdul-Wahad and Jerome Moiso.

Click here for the official Tony Parker website and here for his NBA player page.

KJ

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