High-flying Parker is soaring

Published 3:54 am Saturday, February 14, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Any normal basketball player would jump out of his Jordan’s for a chance to play with the likes of a LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Deron Williams or Amare Stoudemire but, then again, Mychal Parker isn’t your average basketball player.
The Washington native, who starred at Southside High School and Terra Ceia Christian Academy, and is currently excelling at The Miller School in Charlottesville, Va., was recently invited to attend the Nike Summer Series, an honor bestowed upon the top 80 prep ball players in the country.
The Nike Summer Series is a collection of basketball camps that start out position-specific, then culminates at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron (Ohio).
Parker’s father, Omar, said that while his son was extremely happy to be invited to the Summer Series, the young junior was more interested trying to compete with James and the rest of the NBA’ers than get their autographs.
Mychal said that he considers the invitation an honor, and is looking forward to seeing how he rates among some of the world’s most elite basketball stars.
The initial camps start in June, and are broken down into four groups, which are attended by the top 20 players in the nation at each of the following categories: point guards, wing guards, wing forwards and bigs.
Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams will instruct the point guard group, the Nets’ Vince Carter will head up the wing forwards, Paul Pierce from the NBA title-holding Celtics will instruct the wing guards, while the Suns’ Amare Stoudemire will coach up the bigs.
The 6-7, 215-pound Parker, the WDN 2007-08 Boys Co-Basketball Player of the Year, will be in the wing guard group with Pierce.
Omar, who heads up the Christian Fellowship Enrichment Organization (CFEO) which works with young athletes in the area, said that the opportunity is a blessing.
The CFEO is located on 403 Harvey Street in Washington. (For more information about the organization, contact Omar at (252) 402-0843.)
The camp for wing guards is held in Boston from June 28-July 1, and after that all 80 athletes will meet up in Akron for the LeBron James Skills Academy camp, which runs from July 5-9.
Upon the conclusion of the Skills Academy, the camp’s top 30 players will be chosen to represent Nike’s USA team against the best U-19 international teams at the Nike Global Challenge in Portland, Or., from Aug. 7-11.
The young Parker said making the U-19 Nike USA team would be the ultimate honor.
Mychal’s coach at The Miller School, Fred Wawner, said that Parker is doing a remarkable job of representing Washington.
Mychal is being listed as a five-star recruit on just about all of the big prep hoops web sites. Scout.com has him ranked as the 18th best player in the country for the class of 2010, and the fourth best forward prospect.
Scouts.inc has Parker rated as a 97 overall (out of 100), and lists him as the ninth best shooting guard in the 2010 class.
When it comes to Parker, the big question is where will he play his college basketball. The junior guard said he will wait until the end of this season at the earliest to make a decision. He has started to narrow down his list of suitors.
Parker said that he also wouldn’t rule out East Carolina, due to its proximity to home.
Wawner, whose Mavericks are 18-3 and in the running for a state title this season, said that Parker’s skills should make any team that gets him a happy one.
While some of the web sites list Parker as a small forward, Wawner thinks Mychal has the makings of shooting guard, saying, “Mychal is a natural two; that’s what he has been playing all year for us. When he gets to college, he should do fine at that position.”