From a young age, Jeffrey Parker knew his future involved the game of basketball. Now a junior forward for Western’s men’s basketball team, Parker sat down with The Western Front to discuss his passion for basketball, his academics and the Viking athelte experience.
Q: How long have you been playing basketball?
A: I’ve been playing basketball for my whole entire life, really. I picked it up at the age of three. My parents kind of introduced me to it, and from then on I just kept going with it.
Q: What made you decide to play basketball at Western?
A: I came on a visit here in the spring of my senior year of high school. When I came it was really sunny and the team environment was really cool. I felt that I could really fit in here with their offense — they run a triangle offense event. Coach D. was a really good coach so I saw I could fit in here. Even though I had some other offers, I thought that Western was the best fit.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: [The] Golden State Warriors. That’s my hometown team, so I couldn’t go against them.
Q: How often do you practice?
A: I practice every day. Basketball is a sport that requires you to really have a strong work ethic, especially if you want to be successful in it. I have to practice every day; we practice on shooting, individual game, dribbling, offense and defense as a team. With me, I just really get a lot of shots individually after practice.
Q: What does your typical day look like?
A: My typical day starts pretty early. I have to wake up for class and then eat lunch, and stuff like that, during the day. Then we have practice, and that takes a lot of energy out of me. Plus the extra work I put in individually, like shooting 1,000 shots every single day. That takes a lot of energy out of me, but it prepares me for the game. After that I go eat, do some homework, then go to sleep.
Q: What do you do to prepare before a game?
A: I have a few pre-game rituals. I usually pray, read my Bible and I like to get a nap in every now and then. But that’s kind of changed up this year. I also tell myself, “All my shots are going to go in, and I’m going to have a great game.” A lot of positive talk to myself.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being apart of the team at Western?
A: My favorite thing about being on this team is that I play with guys who encourage each other really well. We pick each other up when people are down, or not having the game they think they should be having. We really do a good job with encouraging each other and picking each other up. That’s one of the things I admire about my team and the reason why I love them so much.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate; will you keep playing?
A: I’m definitely going to keep playing for as long as I can. I’m looking forward to playing 15 years, plus. I just need to keep working hard. The biggest thing about basketball is you have to have a lot of confidence in order to play at pro-level. That’s one thing I believe I have: the mental game.
Q: How do you feel about playing games at Whatcom Community College this year?
A: It’s very different. Personally I don’t really like it because I’m so used to [Sam Carver Gymnasium] and being in Carver whenever I wanted. It’s a tough transition but it’s something we have to get used to pretty fast if we’re planning to win a national championship this year.
Q: What do you do in your free time, when you’re not playing basketball?
A: I don’t do too much in my free time; I usually sleep. I mean I go watch movies and stuff, and kind of read. But I don’t really do too much, I’m a pretty “lax” guy.