EXCLUSIVE chat with De’End Parker, new UCLA commit Pt. 2

It’s a little after midnight, and I just got off the phone with new UCLA commit De’End Parker. Quite frankly…wow. What an interview, what a bright, energetic kid. Little did I know, my mom lived a block from him in San Francisco for the last five years, so we probably ran into each other once or twice. You’ll enjoy this interview. Here’s part two…

JG: You come to UCLA next season to pretty much fill out the roster, depending if a couple guys go to the NBA, but you’ll be a junior; do you expect to come in and try to produce right away?
DP: “I’ve been battle-tested all my life. I’ve clearly never been in a situation like UCLA, but I’m definitely up for the challenge. That’s the kind of person I am. The kind of player I am. I’m always going to try to rise to the occasion. As far as being able to come in and produce right away, they wouldn’t have recruited if they didn’t think I could. I mean, they don’t even recuit junior college players. Pretty much just Jones, now. I’m feeling pretty comforable with my decision. I’m going to be happy. I know I’m going to be happy.”

JG: There’s a lot of talk about what position you’ll play at UCLA. You play point guard now, but do you anticipate a move to the wing?
DP: “In high school I played wing and I was the primary scorer. It flipped the script when I went to City College; a lot of national JCs wanted to keep me at that position (wing). When I went to City they wanted me to play point guard, because they said my basketball IQ is great. I really know what’s going on on the floor. It’s been working out; people have been able to see more parts of my game. It bettered me. It expanded my game. People are being able to see, “He’s a great passer, he can defend the position.” I’ll be happy if they want me to play the one, two or three.”

JG: Where do you anticipate to start? UCLA loses two junior point guards after next season, so there will likely be that spot open…
DP: Coming in this year after talking to coaches, the position they would probably have me at is wing, but if they need me at the point, I’ll do it. It bettered my looks in college, and it will better my looks for the future. Whartever they have in store for me will be the best for me.”

JG: You’re from the Bay Area (whereupon we talk about the neighborhood for 15 minutes, finding out we lived a block from each other) and you would expect maybe a Cal fan or a Stanford fan, yet you talk about UCLA as your dream school, a no-brainer. How did you become a fan?
DP: “Well you know man, coming from where I’m from, not a lot of people get out of here and make it. The UCLA thing, when you watch the NBA, you see a lot of players from UCLA. When you think about the history, how many have been drafted, UCLA has the most. You can never overlook that. You must be doing something right if you have the most. You have to be doing something right. I want to know really bad, so I’m going to go down there and find out.”

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  • BigBear

    An illuminating article…seems like a very risky pick-up, but I the team could use some street toughness ya dig

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-02-25/sports/17189157_1_point-mission-quick-first

  • Anonymous

    I wish you could ask him if he’s the youngest in his family. Ive seen a few people named De’End and some say it means the mom wants them to be their last child. THE END!

  • Anonymous

    From the article bigbear posted, he is the youngest of 10 kids.

    I am excited about this pick up! He can help if either lee or honeycut leave. Sounds like a baller! Him and powell coming in next year, scorers!

  • Reformed Droog

    “[C]oming from where I’m from, not a lot of people get out of here and make it.”

    Wait – you lived a block from him? And your mom still lives there?

    DID YOU LEAVE YOUR MOM IN THE GHETTO, JON????

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Thanks for the link, BigBear. Not sure though why you consider him a “very risky” pickup. Personally, compared to a kid who is given a scholarship straight out of high school, I would say if anything he is *more* of a sure thing having been able to develop and showcase his abilities against better competition (than HS) for an additional two years, not to mention the natural physical and emotional growth he is able to undergo. Judging by the video I’ve seen of him he’s clearly athletic and has skills. As Anonymous said he looks (and sounds) like a baller!

    I was looking forward to seeing Powell next year (and I still am), but honestly I am really excited about Parker especially since it was so unexpected. Based on the video I’ve seen, he will add a whole new dimension of being able to take guys off the dribble from the 2 or 3, plus provide the versatility of playing the 1 or being a second primary ballhandler in transition, etc. Just hoping he has a sweet jumper. :)

  • Matt Hagen

    Excellent work, as always, Jon. Thanks so much for your great reporting.

  • Anonymous

    anyone else think the football team could use some more apostrophes?

  • anon

    “My (biological) mom didn’t know what she was going to call me until the day she had me,” said Parker, who is the youngest of seven. “When she was actually having me, she said, ‘Man, this is the end, I’m not having any more.’ And that’s how she got my name – De’End – like ‘The End’.”

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-02-25/sports/17189157_1_point-mission-quick-first/2