Genesis Parker has attended three different schools in the last three years, and is about to add another one to that list. The 5-foot-8-inch junior guard from Stonewall Jackson High School announced her commitment to Virginia Tech last Wednesday.
“Virginia Tech was the perfect place for me,” Parker said. “It was close and it’s somewhere I know I have a chance to be successful.”
I had the opportunity to speak with Parker before she made her official commitment. She spoke about how she has changed, her professional role model, and superstitions.
“I thought last season went pretty well. It was a big transition going from the school I transferred from, which was Bishop O’Connell, to the winning program at Stonewall Jackson.”
Last year, Parker transferred after leading her team in scoring at O’Connell to Stonewall Jackson high school. Stonewall has a more established and winning program in place, which drew Parker to the school. She averaged 13.6 points per game at O’Connell, but had little trouble with the transition to Stonewall, averaging 20.2 points per game her junior season.
“Last year it was looking to get more experience getting to the post more, being the better point guard,” Parker said. “This year more scoring opportunities opened up.”
Parker excels with driving to the basket and is a dangerous shooting threat. She says her strength is finding the open player. This style of play and Parker’s resilience bare a certain similarity to a familiar face in the NBA: her idol, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I look up to Russell Westbrook. I like how he plays. I like his explosiveness to the basket. I like his intensity,” Parker said.
Like NBA MVP contender Westbrook, Parker thrives when the stakes are high.
“I play better under pressure. I play better against harder teams, when people are watching me.”
Last season Parker helped Stonewall to a 19-0 start to the season and a trip to the quarterfinals in the state tournament. So what is the key to Parker’s success? Her drive to be the best and strong family support help, but it could also be her consistent pregame ritual. Like many athletes, Parker is a person of habit.
“I have to wear my socks perfectly and I always wear earrings to the game,” Parker said.
Before deciding on Virginia Tech Wednesday, Parker was choosing between West Virginia, Georgia, and Virginia Tech. Ultimately, proximity to home and coaching style brought Parker to commit to Virginia Tech. Parker will be a vital addition to the Virginia Tech Hokies Women’s Basketball team and maybe, as her name suggests, she will bring a new beginning with her.
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