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Do you regret coming to UCLA? Tony Parker: ‘No comment’

Jan 9, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Prairie View A&M v UCLA Getty Images

Things haven’t been easy for Tony Parker as he adjusts to life on the west coast.

He’s 3,000 miles away from his family. He’s learning how to be a college student at the same time that he’s learning how to be a college basketball player. And he’s trying to learn how to be a college basketball player while watching the other three members of UCLA’s vaunted freshmen class thrive while he struggles for minutes battling through injuries.

He tore his hamstring the first practice back in July. He battled back spasms during UCLA’s trip to New York, something that hasn’t completely gone away this season. He sprained his ankle stepping on a basketball during warmups against Cal St. Northridge, the first game for the Bruins after Josh Smith left the team. That forced him out of that game and a game against San Diego State. He’s also missed practice time with migraines.

The injuries on their own are frustrating enough; now factor in that he’s been forced to sit out practices, which takes away from: a) his understanding of the UCLA system, b) his timing and comfort on the court, and c) his cohesiveness playing with the rest of the team.

All in all, it’s been anything but a dream season for Parker.

And based on this story from Peter Yoon of ESPN Los Angeles, it looks like Parker is seriously considering transferring out of the UCLA program after the season:

It remains to be seen if he will. Parker indicated that after the season, he would weigh his options as far as returning to UCLA.

“I don’t know yet,” Parker said. “I have to talk to my parents and see what they say.”

Asked if he regretted coming to UCLA, Parker said, “No comment.”

Parker made it clear, however, that his discontent is not due to some perceived rift between him and Howland. A Georgia native, who is 3,000 miles from home, Parker said a large part of his unhappiness stems from homesickness after his first holiday season away from his family.

His health issues are also to blame, he said, and he fully understands that he’s behind because of them and that he and Howland have a good player-coach relationship.

“He’s coaching me and making me get better,” Parker said. “He’s a good coach. He’s a good person. I don’t think he’s pushing me out at all. It’s just a learning process, and I just have to keep working.”

Will Parker be the next highly-touted recruit to transfer out of Westwood?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. manchestermiracle - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    He couldn’t go home to the family over the holiday break? Wonder why. And Lithonia, Ga is less than 2,200 miles from L.A., not 3,000.

  2. nolanwiffle - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    “adjusts to life on the west coast”???? Is it really THAT different? Talk about coddling a kid with excuses…..

    • tomtravis76 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      LA is alot different than Atlanta.

      Some kids just thrive better when they already know where everything is located. The young man should have gone to Georgia Tech.

      Instead of the HS to NBA jump the new trend is loading a program with elite freshman each season and these guys then all jump together.

      The NBA really needs to create a viable minor league to develop kids instead of wasting College Basketball time with kids who nobody remembers after one season that the media has hyped up to be the next great superstar.

      • nolanwiffle - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Presumably this “young man” took an official visit to UCLA prior to signing his letter of intent. He likely received counseling from parents, high school and AAU coaches, etc.

        Hopefully no one told him that the transition would be easy. That being said, go to class, go to practice work hard, and don’t do interviews expressing homesickness.

        Why Georgia Tech? Do you know Parker personally and what’s best for him? Or are you simply a fan of the Yellow Jackets?

        Lastly I don’t disagree that the system is broken. I simply found it laughable that a college basketball player who probably travels extensively during summer AAU tours has to somehow “adapt” to west coast living, as the author suggested.

      • tomtravis76 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        Only say GT because it is located in Atlanta and his hometown is on the outskirts of Atlanta. Lethal Weapon 3 is the only thing I have ever liked about GT basketball.

        Lets be honest, the coaches at these programs aren’t looking out for the best interest of the kids. The coaches are looking out for what is best for their career. A mid major guy gets the best player he can get to his school, that school gets better , the coach gets a job offer at a bigger conference and leaves all those kids behind that he made promises to about their time at that school with him as coach.

        Most of these kids are not influenced by the opportunity of getting a degree , but rather told about the quickest way to get to the league through a program with national exposure. Most people in the inner circle of these elite recruits are “yes men”, nobody wants to be the one to say no in fear of being left out of the potential fruits of the NBA.

        If the kid is unhappy, he is allowed to make a mistake, don’t make him jump through hoops to transfer. But again, the league should develop a minor league system, so they can have these young men learn how to be professionals while getting paid for their talents. Having them go to college is a joke and a waste of time for all involved.

  3. skids003 - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Go to Syracuse, Boeheim will let you get away with anything as long as you can play.

    • protectthishouse54 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      And what exactly is he trying to get away with? The article does nothing to suggest he’s a bad kid.

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