UCLA’s Parker Hoping to Meet With Alford, Uncertain About Future
WASHINGTON, D.C. — UCLA freshman Tony Parker is hoping to meet with new Bruins coach Steve Alford and remains uncertain about his future, his father told SNY.tv Saturday.
After UCLA had initially targeted VCU’s Shaka Smart and Butler’s Brad Stevens, Alford agreed to a seven-year deal worth $2.6 annually, according to CBSSports.com. The former Indiana star signed a 10-year deal with New Mexico on March 20.
“I don’t know if we’re going to meet with him or he’s going to meet with us, or if he would entertain it,” Virgil Parker said by phone. “I haven’t heard anything from them. I haven’t heard from the athletic director, I haven’t heard from anyone.”
UCLA will likely lose freshman Shabazz Muhammad to the NBA Draft, while fellow freshman Kyle Andersonwill return for his sophomore year.
UCLA assistant Korey McCray recruited both Parker and fellow frosh Jordan Adams and is hoping to remain on Alford’s staff but it is unclear if Alford will retain him, a source with direct knowledge told SNY.tv.
The 6-foot-9 Parker did not have a good experience in his freshman season under former coach Ben Howland, his father said. He averaged just 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds.
“It wasn’t a good experience for him out there,” Virgil said. “There’s a lot of people out there that have a fingerprint on his whole situation, if you sit back and watch this whole thing unveil.
“It was hard on us as a family, as you could imagine. It wasn’t a good experience.”
Virgil said he wasn’t certain if the situation would change with Alford.
“It could be,” he said. “At the same time, Ben Howland had a reason for not playing Tony. Hopefully it will be a better experience for him with him being another coach, you know?”
Virgil said it was possible his son might transfer but he’s hoping to meet with Alford first.
“He just might, I don’t know,” Virgil. “I really don’t know. I know he’s going to give that guy a chance to sit down with him and talk with him or whatever.”
**Rysheed Jordan is still considering UCLA. Story here.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.