Debut of Parker Park League delayed

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, July 15, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Afternoon showers postponed the opening day of the Parker Park Summer Basketball League on Monday but it didn’t keep founder Omar Parker from having a bright outlook on the season. Parker said that while rain moved the start of the games back, he is still very excited to start his outdoor league this upcoming Monday.
Parker said that aside from the rain, he was holding out the start of the season to allow more teams to enter the league.
Parker said he is still welcoming any athlete or individual who wants to be involved. Anyone interested in playing can call Parker at 402-0843.
Parker, the father of this year’s WDN Boys Basketball Player of the Year, also said he was waiting for his son Mychal to come back from a basketball camp in Philadelphia. Parker was at the Reebok All-American Invitational Camp, where he was named to the camp’s all-stars team.
The extra time could be a blessing in disguise for Parker, as he is still in the midst of renovating the basketball court and its surrounding areas.
Parker has spent the summer trying to repaint the basketball court on 402 Harvey Street, as well as renovate the building next to the court, which was a Health Department building.
Parker, who bought the Health Department building, has turned it into a Christian youth center, that is run by Parker’s Christian Fellowship Enrichment Organization.
Parker’s plans are to try and develop a place for at-risk youths to seek refuge, as well as provide a family friendly environment for the Washington community. The overhaul of the property has been a lot of work, and Parker said he has run into several obstacles along the way.
Once his plans go into effect, the center will encompass all kids, and feature a playground, karate and basketball classes amongst other family oriented things.
Parker said that his park’s biggest concerns to date is building a fence to wrap around the court to protect the ball from going into traffic and bouncing into the neighboring creek, as well as a renovating the roof of his youth center.
Parker said his efforts have come to a grinding halt, and that he is having trouble coming up with the funds for his project.
With the pace of his project is slowing down, Parker is seeking the community’s help to try and get things back on track, and is seeking the help of area churches.
If anyone or group would like to lend a hand or contribute in any fashion to the youth center or the basketball court, contact Parker at 402-0843.