Anthony and Candace Parker have taken vastly different paths to becoming professional basketball stars
Although they both eventually achieved their professional basketball dreams, siblings Anthony and Candace Parker did not take the same journey there. The younger Candace had WNBA superstardom written all over her future as a high school player, with her all-around skillset and ability to play multiple positions. She drew added attention for her ability to dunk as a 15-year-old and was projected to be the next great women’s player. After high school, she went on to star for the late, great Pat Summitt and her Tennessee Lady Vols, leading them to two straight national titles before leaving early to become the first pick of the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2008 WNBA Draft and one of the top stars in the League.
Anthony, on the other hand, had a solid but unspectacular career for the same high school, Naperville Central. He built his game on hustle and defense, and enjoyed enough success at mid-major Bradley University to earn a late first-round selection in the 1997 NBA Draft. He did not have much opportunities however, playing behind Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse for the Philadelphia 76ers, and eventually left the NBA to play in Israel for local titans Maccabi Tel Aviv.
In Tel Aviv, Anthony Parker finally found a home for his unselfish, versatile game. The swingman won five national titles and two EuroLeague championships in the span of five years, earning two EuroLeague MVP awards in doing so. He showcased his skills for NBA scouts once again as he hit a game-winner to lead Maccabi to an exhibition victory over the Toronto Raptors, and the Raptors soon snapped him up with a multi-year contract. The then 31-year-old enjoyed six seasons with the Raptors and Cleveland before retirement.
Anthony Parker’s resolve has served him well in embracing challenges throughout his career as he went from an unheralded prospect to a superstar in Israel and then to a solid NBA player. Now the General Manager of the Lakeland Magic franchise in the G League, Anthony has parlayed his winding basketball journey and the knowledge accrued into a lifelong career. The Magic will look forward to seeing him take on the challenges of his new role with equal zeal and dedication.
Article written by Wong Chin Yi
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA.