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Tony Parker

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Tony Parker

Born : 17 May 1982
City : Bruges, Belgium
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Tony Parker Biography

Early life

Parker was born in Bruges, Belgium, but raised in France. His father, Tony Parker Sr., an African-American, played basketball at Loyola University Chicago as well as professionally overseas. His mother, Pamela Firestone, is a Dutch model. Parker enjoyed close relationships ith his brothers and they would often attend their father's basketball games together. At first, Parker was more interested in soccer, but after watching the evolution of Michael Jordan into a global basketball superstar, he changed his mind. Moreover, Parker's two younger brothers were also heavily involved in basketball; T.J. and Pierre would go on to play basketball at college and professional levels. As Parker built his skill, his lack of size (notwithstanding a growth spurt at 15) decided his position on-court.He played the point guard position, recognizing that his speed and agility made this position ideal for him He was eventually talent-spotted and asked to attend the National Institute for Sports and Physical Education in Paris. After playing in the French amateur leagues for two seasons, Parker turned professional and signed with Paris Basket Racing in 1999.

Born: May 17, 1982 (age 32), Bruges, Belgium
Spouse: Eva Longoria (m. 2007–2011)
Partner: Axelle Francine (2011–)
Current team: San Antonio Spurs (#9 / Point guard)
Parents: Tony Parker, Sr., Pamela Firestone
Children: Josh Parker

Career

Before the 2001 NBA Draft, Parker was invited to the San Antonio Spurs' summer camp. Parker's first experiences were daunting; coach Gregg Popovich had him play against Spurs scout and ex-NBA player Lance Blanks. Parker was so overwhelmed by Blank's tough and physical defense that Popovich was ready to send him away after just 10 minutes. But after seeing a "best of" mix tape of Parker's best plays, Popovich decided to invite Parker a second time. This time, Parker made a better impression against Blanks; the Frenchman later described Blanks as a "one-man wrecking crew". But while Popovich decided that Parker was worth the gamble, the Spurs still had to hope that other teams would not pick Parker during the draft. As it happened, Parker's name was barely mentioned in the pre-draft predictions and the point guard was drafted 28th overall by the Spurs on draft day.

International career

Parker played for France's Junior National Teams at the 1997 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, both the 1998 and 2000 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championships, and the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. He was elected the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, when France captured the gold medal, as he averaged 14.4 points and 2.5 assists per game. Parker averaged 25.8 points, 6.8 assists, and 6.8 steals per game at the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. With the French senior national team, Parker has played in the 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 FIBA EuroBaskets.

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