Former Bradley University men’s basketball star Anthony Parker was honored as one of the Euroleague’s 50 Greatest Contributors during this past weekend’s Euroleague Finals in Madrid. In addition, Parker was named one of the 12 best players to compete in both the NBA and the Euroleague, according to an ESPN.com article accompanying the Euroleague 50 Greatest Contributors List.
Similar to the NBA’s celebration of its 50-year anniversary in 1997, the Euroleague celebrated the first 50 years of European club basketball competition this past weekend at the Palacio de la Comunidad de Madrid. Among the names recognizable to many American basketball fans on the 50 Greatest Contributors List with Parker: Manu Ginobli, Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc, Bob McAdoo, Drazen Petrovic and Phoenix Suns coach Mike D’Antoni. Parker is one of five Americans among the 35 players on the 50 Greatest Contributors List.
Parker starred at Bradley from 1993 through 1997, finishing eighth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,683 points. The 1996 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Parker was selected in the first round (21) of the 1997 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets and traded to Philadelphia on draft night. He played 55 games in parts of three NBA seasons before taking his game overseas in 2000. He played five of his six European seasons for Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, leading the powerhouse club to Euroleague titles in 2004 and 2005 while claiming Euroleague Finals MVP honors both years, as well as the 2001 SuproLeague championship.
After helping Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv to the 2006 Euroleague Finals, Parker returned to the NBA by signing a three-year contract with the Toronto Raptors. In his first year back in the league, Parker won the 2007 NBA Sportsmanship Award for the Atlantic Division and he has proven to be one of the NBA’s top 3-point shooters the last two years. He has started all 155 regular-season games he has played for Toronto the last two seasons, averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range, while helping the Raptors to consecutive playoff appearances and the 2007 Atlantic Division title.