HE was named after a popular American rock band in the 70s, but he never had any inkling of living up to his given name, instead Van Halen Parmis took to basketball.
Van Halen is a basketball coach who is more popularly known to many players, especially former PBA players and those not lucky enough to make the pro league, as the Panalay King. He earned that name because of his exceptional winning rate in pocket play-for-pay tournaments, especially in the Southern part of the country. Panalay is the basketball jargon for playing for money.
In 2012, he became a member of the coaching staff of the vaunted University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers as a talent scout but when Gary Cortes assumed as head coach of UV in 2015, Parmis was given additional functions. He was given active participation in coaches’ huddle and game planning, and got his most challenging role, the social development of the players.
His stint in UV may have been destined for the “Rock star” coach but his outreach work was accidental. It started last December.
“My cousin urged me to visit and hold a basketball clinic at the Sisters of Mary School Boy Town in Tungkop (Minglanilla). She told me that she encountered some of the boys at the National Bookstore in SM City and she said there was a singing contest at the school and as part of the prize, their wish to visit National Bookstore was granted. Their story inspired her so she asked me to give a little gift to the boys by teaching them the basics of basketball,” Parmis said. “I visited the SMS Boys town a day after Christmas and asked the sisters if I could conduct a basketball clinic for the boys. At first, the Mother superior just laughed. She told me, many had come, and everybody promised them something, but did not come back.”
But Van Halen was not just “anybody.”
“So, to show that my intentions were pure, I contacted some players of UV and Eliud Poligrates to come and join me. I asked for only 50 students but I was amazed by the attitude they showed towards our program. They were very attentive and they were quick to respond. I was so impressed that I came back the next day and asked the sisters for 200 students. Still they showed so much interest that I decided to ask the sisters that I would give a clinic to all 1,600 students as my way to celebrate my birthday last Jan.7.”
The basketball coach didn’t stop there and decided to expand the sports program to other sports.
“I then contacted the tennis coach of UV and the football coach of USPF to help me with the project. I also contacted the Cebu Province Sports Commission to ask if they could extend help to the school and they responded by giving them 50 footballs and they also joined us during my clinic during my birthday. I was also able to distribute a couple of dozens of basketball.”
That wasn’t all.
The program grew some more and in just less than three months, Parmis brought in trainers who taught volleyball, athletics, table tennis and swimming to give the SMS Boys Town students the basics of the sports.
Still, that wasn’t all.
CPSC added badminton and promised to institutionalize the program to continue development of the students. Eleazer Toledo, the USPF coach who was invited by Parmis, also brought in former Don Bosco Technological Center athletic director Bro. Mari Aberasturi, now the head coach of the National University, for their own football training.
And, that is not all as Parmis anticipates a more promising—and challenging—program.
“The more challenging project is yet to come. We will also involve the SMS Girls Town in Talisay City. They have 3,000 students there and we are planning to start the project once they will return from vacation and after the formal launching of the project at the Boys Town on March 4.”