MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Bring Bobby home. The former University of Memphis basketball legend Bobby Parks, Sr. is battling cancer in the Philippines. His family wants to bring Parks home because they say he's not receiving adequate care overseas, but they need help to make that happen.
For four years in the early '80's at the Mid-South Coliseum, Bobby Parks played a pivotal part in Memphis State Basketball's fight for national dominance. Parks is fighting for something much more important now - his life.
Parks received a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer in September of last year. This is Parks' second bout with cancer; he battled throat cancer a couple of years ago.
"He fully recovered from that so we thought it would be gone, but it came back much more aggressively," said Yu Kuroiwa, Parks' stepdaughter. "I really do consider him as dad because he's always been there for me."
She said it's tough seeing him struggle to stay alive. "It's emotionally and mentally tiring. He has tumors on both lungs and his liver. He's dependent on a ventilator to breathe. He has machines hooked up to him."
Parks played professional basketball in the Philippines for many years. In 2009, he became just the second American to be inducted into the Philippines Basketball Association Hall of Fame.
Andre Turner played college ball with parks at the University of Memphis, which was then called Memphis State University. "I'm overly pleased and blessed to know that Bobby Parks is a part of my life."
Turner is saddened to hear about his friend's illness but he remains optimistic. "I'm encouraged. I know Bob's a fighter," he said. "All of us that played with him, we know what type of character Bob has for any of us to go through that we feel for his family and Bob. We know if anybody can come through this it'll be Bob."
He added, "Everybody keep praying for Bobby Parks and hopefully he gets better."
The Parks family is hoping to put together a benefit basketball game. The goal is to raise enough money to bring Parks back to America to get the care he needs. They plan to release more information soon on how Tiger Nation can chip in to help.