Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mark "ATM" Parisi

Typically the lone white kid on New York City's hardscrabble courts,
Mark Parisi is a baller who pales by comparison.

In Brooklyn, he's known as "soul man."

Spectators at these rugged parks have him pegged as a "whiteboy with rythm."

Others simply know Parisi as "ATM," as he's long carried the tag of moneyball shooter.

In some parks he's referred to as "white chocolate," the same moniker that stuck to former NBA guard Jason Williams.

"31 flavors" is another unique nickname that has surfaced lately.

Call him as you'd like, the lights-out 3-point assassin has
certainly toured New York's hoop hotspots.

The Queens native is starting to blossom, with his reputation burgeoning across the metro area's basketball
landscape.

From Brooklyn's Starret City to "the cage" at West Fourth St. (the old
stomping grounds of Ron Artest and Anthony Mason Sr.),
the 5-foot-10 guard has put his fingerprints on high-pressure games.

A man of a few words, coaches describe Parisi as an introvert. While his shyness is evident, Parisi announces his presence loud and clear by sticking three-pointers from the parking lot.

His body is still growing, but Parisi is starting to attack the tin.

He's beginning to throw down sledgehammers with
both hands, though dialing in from a different area code is slim's true
calling card.

Despite his sizzling summer, Parisi has been slept on by many a coaches throughout the area. There was one AAU coach who had him take a backseat to some of his mainstream players. Another coach relinquished a 10-point lead in two minutes and did not utilized Parisi the way folks envisioned.

Parisi doesn't care. His workmanlike, nonvocal style--albeit it could and it most definitely should change as he gets older--has kept him going, going, going. Like the energizer fucking bunny.

He made waves at Syracuse Camp recently, impressing former Syracuse shootist and now-assistant coach Gerry MacNamara with his perimeter presence. Alongside big time target DaJuan Coleman-another class of 2011 recruit--Parisi stood out like a white chick at The Source Awards party. He dialed in from NBA range. He distributed the ball to his teammates and ran the show, winning meaningful minutes on former NBA forward and Syracuse alum John Wallace's squad.

And to think this is only the beginning...

Shaped by a hoop junkie father--coach Mark Parisi Sr.-- the young gun
has become the walking definition of a gymrat.

"Mark's definitely one of the best shooters I've ever seen," said
coach Eric Deemas (Brooklyn Ballers AAU), who coached Parisi on the
Brooklyn USA AAU team.

"He adjusts to whatever level he's playing at. If he needs to shoot
and score 40, he's going to do that. He can stick it from anywhere."

Running with the Abyssinian Church (Harlem, N.Y.)
on the AAU circuit, the combination guard has scorched the nets.

He's got handle that he doesn't fall in love with or self-boast.
Becoming too handle-happy has proved problematic for many of
New York's young guards.

Not Parisi.

He's the opposite of a flashy player. He changes speeds, draws
defenders in and delivers a precision pass to an open big.

His basketball IQ is high, his ego nonexistent.

Watching the kid play, you'd think he sat through yoga
instruction and meditation all morning. Never forcing the issue, Parisi
is cooler than Snoop Dogg under nail-biting pressure.

He's already getting love from Louis Orr at Bowling Green, Ron
Everhard at Duquesne, and coaches at St. John's. The University of Hawaii has
also expressed interest in the slim sniper.

Oh, and by the way, he just turned 15.

During the recent Providence Jamfest, Parisi opened eyes. He made the all-tourament team after turning in 26-point and 25-point showings.

Just a few months after a season that saw him average 20 points
(despite averaging just 12 shot attempts per game) for the freshman
squad at Molloy, Parisi has evolved into a promising prospect.


Hoopheads are beginning to dig in their pockets and pay attention.

Parisi has already been tapped into the NY Elite bloodline.

He will run with Syracuse-bound guard Brandon Triche and other highly-touted players
this summer.

According to Deemas, playing with the big boys is nothing new for
Parisi.

"He played with me at the Marbury tournament, which we got second
place at. He also played with me at Dunkin Delite," said Deemas.

"The kid held his own. When you go into these tournaments, you have a lot of different
things to overcome. All these coaches are interested in is winning.
They don't have the players' best interest at heart. They put a lot of
older players on the floor to play against younger guys. They call it
'ringing,' but it's really called cheating."

While his identity is clearly as a shooter, the immeasurable
intangibles could help sell Parisi's stock.

"He's a great learner, and he's got a terrific attitude," said
Deemas.

"He's just one of those kids you love to coach. He's a very
smart player. He listens to instructions he adapts to changes so quick. He's a great player, he's just not very big."

"He's a great shooter," said Tom Konchalski, the longtime, legendary prep scout.

"I didn't see enough of Molloy's freshman this year, but he was the second best player on that team."

If Hawaii is pursuing early, it's because they know what they'll be getting out of the promising young baller.


Years ago, Parisi went down to Waikiki Beach, Honolulu and made some serious waves. He registered his imprint and drowned bigger, established players in a barrage of threes.

For more on Parisi's Hawaii adventures, please go to http://www.nycnjhoops.com/200507.htm