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Tony Parker

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Biography

Best known in the U.S. for his All-Star play at point guard for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs -- not to mention his high-profile romance with primetime starlet Eva Longoria -- Tony Parker also enjoyed success in his native France as a rapper. Born William Anthony Parker II in Bruges, Belgium, on May 17, 1984, he was the son of a Loyola University Chicago basketball standout who later played overseas. After attending the National Institute for Sports and Physical Education in Paris, Parker spent two years in the French minor leagues before signing with the Paris Basket Racing franchise in 1999. Upon entering the NBA draft in 2001, he was drafted 28th overall by the Spurs, and on November 30 made his American debut, becoming just the third French player ever to take the court in an NBA contest. Parker was also the first foreign-born guard named to the league's All-Rookie First Team, and by the start of the 2002-2003 season he was installed as the Spurs' starting guard, playing in all 82 regular season games and proving a clutch playoff performer as the team defeated the New Jersey Nets in six games to claim the NBA Championship. After falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 Western Conference semi-finals, the Spurs rebounded a season later, beating the Detroit Pistons in seven games to earn Parker his second championship ring. During the 2005-2006 campaign he was selected to his first All-Star team, with a career-high scoring average of 18.9 points per game. That summer, Parker was also slated to captain France in the 2006 World Championships, but was sidelined by a broken finger. Later that year, he additionally announced his engagement to the stunning Longoria, star of the primetime hit Desperate Housewives. In early 2007 Parker issued his first hip-hop record, a self-titled effort produced by Sound Scientists' Polygrafic. The first single, "Top of the Game," featured rappers Fabolous and Booba, while Spurs teammates Tim Duncan, Robert Horry, and Brent Barry co-starred in the attendant music video. ~ Jason Ankeny

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'90s, '00s