HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For Clint Parks basketball has always been a passion for the UC Riverside native.
After transferring to Kahuku high school his sophomore season the point guard learned all about the “Big Red Mentality."
“You play at Kahuku you grow up in that community hard-work is everything,” Parks said. “It’s not about hype or big names or any of that, and being able to represent that community is something that I’ll always be thankful for.”
After finishing his high school basketball career, injuries stalled what Parks was hoping could be a professional playing tenure in the NBA.
Even though a playing career was no longer an option Parks wouldn’t be denied being around the game that he grew up loving.
“I knew that the game was going to come to an end for me at some point," Parks said. "I wanted to be apart of it and I was always thinking ahead so I started the AAU program called ‘Team Elite’.”
Parks embarked on a coaching career in basketball mentoring up and coming hoopers who wanted to chase their NBA dreams.
Although he didn’t know it then Parks would personally help them achieve their goals.
“Kawhi Leonard played with our AAU program and so did Tony Snell," Parks said. "Overtime probably through word-of-mouth is how I started working with Kyle Kuzma through the work that I had done with Kawhi and Tony.”
Parks also takes time to mentor homegrown local talent such as University of Hawaii forward Sumuta Avea.
The former Hauula resident’s client list now bolsters a who’s who of current NBA, college, and high school players.
Parks hopes to one day eventually coach in the NBA and believes his journey with basketball wouldn’t have been possible without his time on Oahu’s north shore.
“I think back about it and I remember those nights just being in my grandmas house on Aumua place in Hauula,” Parks said. “I was just playing on a basket in front of the house not knowing where this game was going to take me and to see where it’s taken me now is just a dream come true and I’m thankful.”