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June 18, 2002
Smush Push
ESPN The Magazine

One year of high school ball in Queens. A juco season across the country in Idaho. Back to NYC for a D1 year at Fordham. Say this about William "Smush" Parker: The kid knows how to move without the ball.
Smush Parker
Parker, not Bob Hill, is making the leap to the NBA.
So if you're looking for the lowdown on the 6'4", 180-pound Fordham guard, you need to ask Kenny Graham, the godfather of New York's West 4th League, where Parker is legendary. "He's got a ton of athleticism, but his game is old-school," says Graham. "That's rare for a playground kid."

Smush's road has been bumpy. His mother, Robin, died of AIDS when he was 9. He never graduated from high school, getting his GED instead. Fordham coach Bob Hill spied him at a juco tournament, but any national buzz was smothered by the Rams' 820 record. In predraft workouts, he's been trying to prove he can run the point. "If I do that, I can go anywhere from 14 to 23," says Smush. With most predicting him as a second-rounder, it seems Smush is already planning his next move -- up the draft board.

This article appears in the June 24 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

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