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Sonny Parker Unity Classic brings basketball to community

In an epic showcase featuring pro and college basketball players from across the world, the 2023 Sonny Parker Unity Classic Pro Am Basketball Tournament kicked off Sunday, July 30, at Wendell Phillips Academy High School.

The event was hosted by the Sonny Parker Youth Foundation in partnership with the Black McDonald’s Operators Association, Jewel-Osco, Midwest Express Clinic, Bright Leadership Institute and Train Sports Club.

“Get ready to witness some of Chicago’s basketball legends showcasing their skills on the court,” said the Sonny Parker Youth Foundation, via a promo spot. “This tournament is a celebration of unity and sportsmanship, where players and fans come together to support and uplift each other.”

Additional games will be played on Sunday, August 6, Monday, August 7 and Monday, August 14.

In 1990, Parker established the non-profit Sonny Parker Youth Foundation (SPYF) in his hometown of Chicago. The Foundation is designed to provide year-round educational, recreational and multicultural programs for inner-city children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Through after-school and weekend programs, the foundation provides tutoring, ACT/SAT preparation, parents’ workshops, job training, mentoring, career planning, and physical education, in hopes of improving the reading and writing skills of students and preparing them to become more productive citizens. Parker is the president of the organization and active in its daily activities.

He was a first-round draft pick, according to his bio, and was chosen by the Golden State Warriors at number 17 in the 1976 NBA draft.

In his rookie season, Parker played in 65 games, scoring a total of 379 points (5.8 points per game), with 2.7 rebounds per game and .9 assists per game. His team reached the playoffs, with Parker contributing 4.2 points per game and 2.8 rebounds, and .9 assists per game.

The following season, Parker played in 82 games. He ranked 16th in the NBA for Field Goal Percentage, with .519 field goals (406 out of 783). His best season, however, came in 1978-1979, where he averaged 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, with 144 steals and 33 blocks.

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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