Bright future for Cass Tech’s Parker
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Although she only stands five-foot-five-inches tall, Taylor Parker of the Cass Tech Girls’ basketball squad is a giant when it comes to full court play on offense and defense.
“She’s our best defensive player and three-point shooter,” said Cass Tech Assistant Coach Fred Whitmore. “With all our pressure based on half and full court, Taylor’s one of our best guards with the most steals on the team.”
Parker’s statistics speak for themselves. With over 60 steals on the season, the Cass Tech junior averages 15.2 points, 6.5 steals, 3.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game. Success on the court has been a part of her playing career for the Lady Technicians. As a freshman, she and current fellow Lady Technician K’lynn Willis, led their team to the PSL Junior Varsity Championship. The former varsity coach Omar Whart moved her up to the varsity.
“He moved me up because he was impressed by the way I went hard in practice,” Parker said.
As a sophomore, Parker led Cass Tech to first place in the PSL West and to the PSL Girl’s Finals at Detroit where they eventually lost to defending champion King. Currently the Lady Technicians won the PSL West in Division I and are currently in the playoffs. Now a junior, she is one of several key players for the Lady Technicians.
Playing since she was five years old, Parker got her round ball influence from her father, Gregory Parker, herUncle Trevill and her grandmother Barbara Olsen, whoplayed basketball in high school and college.
“When I was growing up in Riverview, they taught me how to play,” she said. “I played a lot of (recreation) league ball.”
Parker moved to Detroit with her mother when she was in fifth grade. She enrolled in Burton International, a Detroit Public School. In sixth grade, she made the basketball team — the boys’ team! Parker explained the school didn’t have a girls’ squad at the time. But in seventh grade when Burton International fielded a girls’ squad, Parker was a two-year starting guard for the Bobcats and it’s been an upward trend ever since.
But there’s more to Parker than just basketball. As a student she carries a 3.5 GPA with her sights on playing college basketball at either Cleveland State, Indiana State or St. John’s in New York.
“She puts her academics first because she knows that’s something I stress,” said Parker’s mother, Brooke Hammerle. “It’s been her goal since she was a six to get a basketball scholarship.
Hammerle says her daughter wants a PSL Championship badly, and praises the girls’ camaraderie. “The team works hard and are like family on the court because they play well together.”
“I feel our chances are good in the playoffs,” Parker concluded. “Our goal is the PSL Championship right now. King is in our way and we may have to knock them off to get it.”