This month, PYB was able to catch up with Al Parker, an integral member of PYB’s Board of Directors and Chairman of PYB’s Development Committee, to learn more about his background and why he is so deeply devoted to PYB and its transformative mission.
Al Parker grew up just outside of Philadelphia and graduated from Wissahickon High School in Ambler, PA. He attended Penn State University, where he studied Economics and Finance while also competing as a hurdler and sprinter on the track team, and then went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Over the next 20+ years, Al gained much experience in private practice and as in-house counsel for businesses in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and consumer goods industries, and as an investor and principal in start-up and early stage business ventures. After serving as General Counsel at a major pharmaceutical company in Boston, Al recently returned to Philadelphia and private law practice where he primarily works with life sciences and healthcare related organizations.
Raised in a family that valued both academics and athletics, PYB’s approach of coupling youth development and education with athletics immediately appealed to Al. Also, having previously served on the board of a sports-based youth development non-profit formerly led by PYB’s President, Al is confident that PYB has the necessary ingredients in place – a clear vision and strategic plan, an active and diverse board, strong operational leadership, committed partners and supporters – to make it a “game-changing” youth development institution in Philadelphia and beyond. As a “basketball lifer” (Al’s father became an NBA referee in 1969), Al has witnessed the growth of the game to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds, and believes that PYB will be able to strategically leverage the broad interest in basketball to create meaningful educational and developmental opportunities for young people and the local community. Furthermore, Al believes that PYB’s model and caring environment will not only help develop the participant’s on-court skills, but more importantly, will cultivate PYB’s young people as positive leaders and real contributors to their communities.
Fun Facts About Al: Al is an avid sports person; you name the sport, he’s probably tried it. With his competitive track days far behind him, Al’s main athletic pursuit these days is on the golf course, although he still has difficulty calling it a “sport.” Also interestingly, Al has traveled to 40+ countries, of which, he says Japan, France, and Brazil are his favorites. One particular travel memory was his remembrance of a group of young people playing basketball on courts in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, which Al said was proof of the broad global interest in the game, and of the potential appeal and power of PYB.