Men's Basketball Headline
Just over a month ago he was named SEC Player of the Year and was leading the Gator men’s basketball team deep into the NCAA Tournament. Now Chandler Parsons is ready for the next chapter of his life – professional basketball.
On Saturday he received his degree in telecommunications. Today he boards a plane from Orlando to Los Angeles and heads west to start an intense series of workouts as he prepares for what he hopes is a happy ending at the NBA Draft on June 23.
“I’m excited, it’s definitely a really exciting time for me,” said Parsons. “I’ve dreamed my whole life about playing in the NBA and now I’m waiting on a plane to go start to make my dream come true.”
Along with Jon Leuer of Wisconsin and Demetri McCamey of Illinois, Parsons will train in Los Angeles with Don MacLean, UCLA’s all-time leading scorer. He’ll work on a variety of skills, fitness and training and then on May 18 will head to Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine.
At 6-10, Parsons seems an ideal fit for a small/point forward on the next level. He led Florida in both rebounding and assists last season as the Gators won the SEC title and ultimately reached the Elite Eight. He finished his career at Florida 12th in scoring with 1,452 points.
After the combine Parsons will begin individual workouts for NBA teams.
“This is all new to me, there are so many unknowns in this whole process,” said Parsons. “I’m just going to get in the best shape I possibly can, work on whatever I can and after Chicago I’ll start workouts with teams. It all seems so far off right now, but it’s all going to go really fast and the next month and a half is a really important time in my life.”
To gain some familiarity Parsons called on some familiar faces to Florida fans – David Lee and Joakim Noah – who have both been through the process and went on to become first-round draft picks.
“I’ve talked to David and Joakim and they’ve given me great advice. I’ve talked to David maybe a little more since I signed with the same agent he has [Mark Bartelstein, Priority Sports],” said Parsons. “They both gave me an idea of what the team workouts are going to be like, how this process works. They told me to play as hard as I can, just keep playing hard if shots don’t go down, to play as confident as I can and not to put any added pressure on myself.”
Along with Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus, Parsons hopes to add to Florida’s NBA Draft legacy, one that has grown under head coach Billy Donovan, as 13 of his players have gone on to be selected, including eight in the first round.
“I can’t believe how fast everything went, it feels like I was just a freshman and now I’m graduated and trying to make a career out this,” he added. “It was a great experience; my time at UF was the best four years of my life. The relationships with my teammates and coaches, the entire staff, those memories will last a lifetime.”
But despite the tenuous and uncertain time for Parsons, he seems to be taking the right approach to the next chapter of his life.
“A lot of people look at the NBA Draft night as an end point,” added Parsons. “For me it’s just a starting point. I know I have things to work on, but I’ve gotten good feedback from people, I’m going to work as hard as I can and do everything possible over these six weeks or so to put myself in the best position.”