DUBLIN — West Bladen High senior Patience Parker isn’t interested in focusing in on just one dream at a time. Instead, she’s set her sights on multiple goals after high school — both in the classroom and in athletics.
On Friday afternoon, Parker inked her agreement to play college basketball and run college track for St. Andrews University in Laurinburg.
And all the while, she will remain a Lady Knight.
“I chose St. Andrews for many reasons — they have outstanding academics, great professors, many opportunities for internships and job experiences, students from all over the world, and a beautiful campus,” Parker said. “One of the most important reasons that I chose this school is because someone there believed in me. “
There were other schools on her initial list, but …
”St. Andrews is the only school who is giving me the opportunity to do something that I love and get my education,” she said, “ and for that I am thankful.”
The 5-foot, 4-inch point guard helped lead the Lady Knights through difficult rebuilding years, including having to play for two new coaches with new philosophies. But she was performed at a high level and was named to the first team of the Three Rivers Conference as a senior.
On the track, Parker was a solid performer — helping West Bladen to a first-place finish in the Three Rivers Conference championships in the 4×200 relay (1:56.23); took third-place in the 100 meters (13.35); and claimed seventh in the 200 meters (28.81).
While most college student-athletes will face the challenge of adjusting to the next level of a single sport, Parker knows she will face bigger challenges with two. She will also have a full plate with her studies, since she is planning on a major in athletic training, followed by sports and recreations studies.
Oh, and a minor in art.
“I think some of the challenges that I will face as a dual athlete would be trying to balance school work and playing two sports at the same time,”she said. “I think I will also face the struggle of trying to keep myself conditioned mentally and physically.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.