Posted On: 11/23/18 12:26 PM

Expectations will be relatively high for Central Catholic this year. The Rams are still in essence a young team so seniors like Tyson Parker will be the key to success. The hard-working 6-foot-2, 175-pound combo guard took a different approach to his preparation for this season, eschewing club hoops for individual work and he’s hopeful that it will all pay off for himself and the team.

“I’ve been playing AAU basketball my whole life since 3rd grade and this summer I realized that if I want to take a big step my senior year I needed to work on my body and train individually,” Parker said. ” I feel like I’ve improved a lot since the end of last year until the beginning of this year. Physically I started hitting the weights a lot harder and I’m now up to 175 pounds.”

The change in his body has helped with his game. “I feel like I can drive a lot harder and finish through a lot of contact,” Parker said. “I’ve also changed my entire jumpshot – I used to shoot like Lonzo (Ball) quite honestly but I shoot a little better.”

College coaches have come through the Central Catholic gym this fall to get a look at the Rams talented younger players, and some have come away impressed with Parker’s improvement as well. He notes that schools such as Lewis & Clark, University of Chicago, and Lower Columbia have been in contact and he’s open to hearing from more.

“Hopefully as we start to play the tougher teams in the state more coaches will come and see me and I’ll get a few more looks before it’s all said and done,” Parker said. “I just want a comfortable fit. It doesn’t really matter the level to me if I can go and get a good education. You’ve got to look at not many people make the NBA so if I can go and get a good education and be able to leave college and go to a good job, and have fun while playing basketball that would be ideal for me.”

Parker’s older brother Cameron went the prep school route on the East Coast and is currently at Division I Sacred Heart, so Parker is familiar with that route and it’s something he’ll consider as the year goes on. He knows that a big season for himself and the team will play a role in what happens next year so he’s focused on what’s immediately ahead.

“For myself, since I’m one of the main seniors on the team I want to be a leader to the young guys,” Parker said. “I want to leave this school with a good tradition. The past couple of years I don’t want to say they were disappointing years but we haven’t reached the Central Catholic standards. This year I want to get to the Chiles Center and hopefully from there get as far as we can.”

“Individually, I just want to hear from more coaches and just play good team basketball and have more confidence in myself,” Parker continued. “Last year I was disappointed in my play and this year I can pick it up more.”