By Melissa McCaghren
Mary Jo Parker signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, or SAGU, Monday afternoon (March 9) in the Slaton High School gym.
Head Coach Tiffany Potts talked about coaching Parker, who was a member of her first Varsity team four years ago. She said Parker could be found shooting baskets before practice, be seen working in the weight room or running.
Parker even took initiative to create her own workout program after the schools closed for the year in 2020 due to COVID.
“I’m blessed for four years to get to coach Mary Jo. I got come in when she was a freshman and what a joy. Who wouldn’t want a four year starter at point guard to build a program around it and get a foundation laid out for the future.”
“She’s just really been a team player the whole way.”
Parker said she selected SAGU partially because of the potential in the sport there. “They got a brand new coach and he is renewing the program and he’s recruiting a lot of freshmen, so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to come in fresh,” she said, adding there were not going to be many seniors on the team.
She also said SAGU may not have the strongest team in the conference currently, but there’s potential.
“We’ll all start at the same to get positions and stuff so we’ll have the opportunity to build the program up,” Parker added.
She’s also looking forward to the other perks of attending college. “I’m looking forward to being on my own and having to find out how to do stuff alone – I think that’s going to be fun,” Parker said, adding she’s also looking forward to meeting new people. “I’m excited to meet all my teammates. I’ve seen a lot of them, there’s about 10 of us already signed. I’m just excited to see everyone and see how they play and how we need to get.”
She plans to get a degree in kinesiology, getting her Health Science Associates Degree and a physical education degree at SAGU then go to another college to get a Masters in Physical Therapy.
That said, the rest of her senior year at SHS comes first.
Currently, she is running track, her last sport of three she competed in during her high school years. She also competed in Cross Country, advancing to State three times, Regional all four years.
“I’m just going to finish out strong with that and we have some goals set for that,” she said.
“In the summer I plan on just working out. My coach is giving us lifting stuff so we’ll be lifting a lot, hopefully getting stronger and then I’ll play on the summer team with two of my teammates that are going there.”