Two things near and dear to former NBA player Cherokee Parks are basketball and punk rock. Both of those were on display during his professional career, and they’re still things he holds near and dear to his heart — the “DIY work ethic” and the understanding that when it’s game time, you have to “just go out there and get pumped up.”
This mindset was something that was missing at the NBA Symposium in Las Vegas in 2017, where rookies gather to learn about the league before they step on the floor. The league didn’t have a former player to give the younger guys an overview of life in the NBA.
In came Parks, who in a true punk rock fashion brought energy and excitement to the event and knocked it out of the park.
“An hour later, he had the room completely engaged,” said Greg Taylor, the NBA’s Senior Vice President of Player Development. “His ability to be empathetic, self-deprecating, it’s who he was as a player. He was obviously an amazing player. His being clear about his own journey, good and bad, programs and resources like this have helped him really reach that next level.”