By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports
Little did the Shreveport Mavericks know that when they brought in Paul Parks near the end of the 2021 season, they were bringing in more than a shooting guard.
They were also bringing in a “general manager.” Plus a “public relations” specialist.
And, as it turns out, an All-Star.
The 6-foot-4 Parks seems to have done it all for the Mavericks, both on and off the floor in the 2022 season. Not only is he one of the leading scorers in The Basketball League, he also helped assemble a team that is 14-3 as it prepares to take on the Dallas Skyline (13-3) tonight at the Gold Dome. Game time is 7:05 p.m. for a matchup of Central Division title contenders.
“I kind of helped Coach build the team this year,” Park says. “I knew a lot of players who were looking for job opportunities who could get the job done. Coach (Steve) Tucker trusted me with that and that was my role.”
Another role has been putting the ball in the basket and Parks made it clear pretty quickly that he was up to that challenge. He is the 10th leading scorer in the TBL and leads the league in 3-pointers made (62).
“We have a lot of options but I feel like I am the go-to guy,” Parks says. “But there’s a lot of us that do different things. We are just one together. I believe in all my teammates. Without them, there’s no me.”
Last month, he was chosen for the TBL All-Star Game, which brought in players from all six divisions.
“The All-Star game is quite an accomplishment for what I have been able to do and my teammates have been able to do,” he says. “But that’s not the biggest accomplishment we are trying to achieve. We want to bring the championship back to Shreveport.”
And he wants people to know about it, which is where the PR part of it comes in.
“I’ve been doing a lot of groundwork with the team trying to get the word out,” he says. “People are starting to see that we are for real and entertaining to watch. I just want to keep building that.”
A native of Georgia, Parks signed with Cleveland State out of high school but quickly returned home. He took more than a year off before enrolling at Carver Bible College and then moving on to Point (Ga.) University.
He has spent plenty of time playing minor league basketball before coming to Shreveport.
“Some guys from Atlanta told coaches about me,” he says. “They were looking for a scorer and they brought me in. I was there for the last part of the season and made an impact for the Mavericks. Coach Tucker liked what I brought to the team and just bonded from there.”
One of the things he brought to the team was a 51-point performance against Wichita last May. He was 18 of 31 from the field, including 10 3-pointers. “I couldn’t miss,” Parks says. “I didn’t even play fourth quarter. I think I could have scored a lot more.”
Parks will turn 32 years old next week and he hopes to keep things going with the Mavericks.
“It’s been a great experience,” he says. “I love being in Shreveport. I’m looking to finish my career here. I like the community and the feedback we are starting to get. More people are starting to learn about the team.”
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