Parker’s move pays off

RALEIGH, N.C. — When Kwe Parker and Dennis Smith first teamed up at Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity Christian, many assumed it would be forever. At least in basketball terms, their freshman season caused many wonder if they’d combine at the same college in the future.

But as players emerged and Smith established himself as the alpha at Trinity last season, Kwe Parker found himself receiving far less attention and opportunity to play point guard than he’d wanted and needed.

Parker, who stands 6-1, played off the ball exclusively at the 2013 HSOT Invitational. Given his size, he realized that he needed more time at point.

Fast forward to 2014. Parker changed schools for his junior year, joining forces with junior star Harry Giles at High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian. His new squad features another talented guard — Wake Forest junior pledge Brandon Childress — but Parker is spending significant time at point and gaining maximum exposure and competition for a nationally ranked team.

Parker’s presence became crucial on Tuesday night in the HSOT final versus loaded Orangeville Prep. With Wesleyan struggling to get over the hump, he made several big-time drives and finishes while handling the ball effectively against pressure. He and his teammates fought back from a double-figure deficit to capture the title, and Parker’s importance to the team’s success has become obvious.

Reflecting on his move to Wesleyan, Parker believes the switch has been highly positive.

”At Trinity it was showtime, and I want to show people that I can really ball,” Parker said. “I’m not just a showtime player. (At Wesleyan), I have to play like a guard.”

Parker recognizes that he’s getting recruited as both a point and a wing, and he’s happy with either though trying to shift toward the point. He also wants to be aggressive and get up and down the court.

”I want somebody that plays fast,” Parker said. “I can be either a ‘two’ or a ‘one.’”

On the recruiting front, he says that Nebraska, Florida State, Kansas State, Wake Forest and Miami are among his most ardent suitors. His plan is to finish up his junior season and then take it from there. So far, so good, and look for Parker’s recruitment to intensity in the coming months.

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