Tony Parker At The Top Of Europe

By: Lorne Chan

Tony Parker has reached many new heights in his career, and he hit another one in September:

11,330 feet.

He stood on the Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps, where there were two hoops and a hardwood. Partnering with Tissot, his longtime sponsor, Parker helped organize a game on the top of Europe.

“It was an unbelievable, unbelievable experience,” Parker said. “When I talked to Tissot about it, what I saw was beyond anything I thought of. You can’t imagine how amazing that court on a mountain will look.”

Parker led his French team ASVEL Villeurbanne against a team of Swiss League players in the game played in the thin air and 37-degree temperature. The spectacular view was a statement on the reach of basketball. It’s a game that can be played anywhere these days.

From a glacier in Switzerland to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Parker’s offseason was a summer experiencing basketball’s global growth.

He was with the French National Team as they qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in a tournament in the Philippines in July, then reached the quarterfinals of the Games in Brazil in August as Parker finished his 16-year international career with the French team. Everywhere Parker goes, regardless of the country, he said he’s still amazed by the reception from fans.

“It’s incredible to see the way basketball has grown around the world since I was a rookie,” Parker said. “Every year, the reach grows and you have a new record for international players.”

There were 113 international players from 41 countries on NBA rosters on opening night last week, both records. The list also includes 10 French players, most of them who played with Parker in the Olympics.

Parker has seen the worldwide growth of basketball first-hand. Parker, who is also sponsored by the shoe company Peak, has made multiple trips to China in past offseasons.

Parker has partnered with Tissot since 2010. Last season, the company partnered with the Spurs and currently offers the Tissot Quickster Spurs Special Edition Watch. Tissot has also partnered with the NBA, unveiling a new state-of-the-art shot clock in all 29 NBA arenas this season. Aside from the players, there might not be anything in the arena that fans watch more than the clock.

“I’ve been a partner with Tissot for so long, so I’m really happy to see the way they’ve grown with the NBA,” Parker said. “It makes me proud.”

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