Parker rises to the top
Rewrite the record books, because Western men’s basketball senior forward Jeffrey Parker has made history.
Parker broke the Western men’s basketball all-time scoring record Friday, March 3, against Saint Martin’s University at the Marcus Pavilion in Lacey.
Entering the game, Parker needed 21 points to break the previous record. Scoring 14 points in the first half and following up with nine more in the second half paved the way for Parker to break the record.
A second half layup moved Parker into first place with 1,845 career points. The previous record was 1,844 points held by Grant Dykstra.
“Setting the record just shows that all my hard work paid off,” Parker said. “It’s been a long journey here at Western. I’m so glad I was able to do it with this group of guys and these coaches.”
Parker said an emotional season topped off with an all-time record means the world to him.
“In a season where I hit tragedy early with my mom passing, it’s an honor,” Parker said. “It always feels good to be first.”
Freshman forward Daulton Hommes said Parker is in the gym practicing more than anyone he’s ever seen.
“He’s just a huge role model,” Hommes said. “The time and effort he puts in pays off. We’re all just super happy for him. He finally got the record.”
Parker said he knows his hard work is going to pay off eventually, so he takes on that mentality to put in all the work he can.
“He’s just a huge role model. The time and effort he puts in pays off. We’re all just super happy for him. He finally got the record.”
“I believe I’m the hardest working athlete in the world,” Parker said. “Sometimes that work doesn’t pay off in the way I want it, but in the long run, I know it’s going to pay off somehow.”
Western’s head coach Tony Dominguez knew Parker throughout his entire recruiting process and said it made the record break even more exciting and fun.
“I’m in coaching for the relationships,” Dominguez said. “He’s the only player I’ve had that’s been with me since I started as head coach.”
With a team filled with talent up and down the roster, some players can find themselves lost in the shuffle, a position Parker sometimes found himself in throughout the season.
“[Parker] is a tremendous young man,” Dominguez said. “He’s not selfish. He’s taken the backseat many times this year and he’s just always a team guy. I’m excited for him and his accomplishments because he’s earned it.”
Records are exciting, but during a fast-paced game, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening. Senior guard Taylor Stafford said he didn’t know Parker broke the record during the game until after a timeout was called.
“I didn’t even notice until our manager said congrats to [Parker],” Stafford said. “That was amazing, he played so hard.”
The record might be broken, but there’s still basketball left to be played. The win over Saint Martin’s advanced Western to the championship game of the tournament. They went on to beat Western Oregon 71-69 Saturday, March 4, to claim the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament title.
The season isn’t over yet and with an unknown amount of games left to be played, Parker will only add to his now leading record before his career at Western comes to a close.