NEGR - Northeast Girls Recruiting

Friday Feature: Faye Parker

To kick off the Fall, we are continuing our Friday Feature’s. These Friday Features showcase some of the Class of 2019 committed players. Our goal with these is to give a glimpse into committed senior’s basketball journeys and their thinking throughout the college recruiting process to share with other aspiring college basketball players.
In our 10th and final installment in the Friday Feature series, we interviewed Faye Parker. She gives great insight into her recruiting process as well as some thoughtful advice and perspective for aspiring college basketball players. Additionally, we got a chance to hear from her Tabor Academy Head Coach, Will Becker, along with her Boston Showstoppers Head Coach, Clinton Lassiter.
Enjoy this week’s Friday Feature with UPENN commit, Faye Parker.
Faye Parker, Class of 2019, 6’4 • Pos: C • Tabor Academy/Boston Showstoppers – COMMITTED TO: UPENN
When did you first start playing basketball?
Fourth Grade in the local town league.
What was your overall recruiting process like and what were some of the schools that showed interest in you?
The process started slow, I only got a little interest freshman and sophomore year, the only school I had actually talked with was Harvard. I got my first offer after the fall AAU period of my junior year from UMass Amherst. After that it got a little more crazy and exciting, as I started going on visits and getting a lot more phone calls. It was very hard to keep on top of everything, so I often ended up neglecting my emails and only talking to coaches who called or texted me. By summer AAU, I had over 10 offers, the ones I was considering the most being from the Patriot or Ivy League mostly as academics are extremely important to me. The schools included Lafayette, Quinnipiac, Northeastern, Cornell, Brown, Bucknell, and UPenn. At this point I was more than ready to commit to UPenn and I did right before the second week of July tournaments began.
Did your family, friends, etc. play a role in your decision and how so?
The decision was mostly mine as it was based on how I felt towards the school and the program – my parents tried to stay out of it unless I asked for advice. My dad probably played the largest role as when I was unsure about schools his opinion, which I value greatly, was often a deciding factor. Everyone, friends and family, just wanted what was best for me, making their constant support their greatest influence.
Tell us a little bit about your high school and AAU experience and how both played a role in your decision.
Freshman year I played at my local public high school, maybe three of the girls played basketball all year, and I was the only one on an actual AAU team. The league was far from competitive making my impact on the team easier to be seen. Sophomore year I attended the prep school Tabor Academy, an opportunity basketball gave me. This increased competition, playing against girls my size who really tried my skill set, girls both on other teams and my own in practice, was beyond beneficial to me. The combination of being surrounded by very competitive athletes and coaches who really push you and living on campus with constant access to a gym, played an essential role in taking me to the next level. The sense of team I have at Tabor, a team I consider my family but also pushes and challenges me constantly, was exactly the type of team bond I was looking for in the schools I visited. This sense of family carried into my AAU team, the Boston Showstoppers, a group in which everyone has got each other’s back but will also hold each other accountable at the same time. I only played with the Showstopper’s a year, but their sense of family became very important to me and, again, exactly what I wanted with my future team.
In the end, why did you choose UPENN?
Visiting Penn, I loved all the basics – the location, the school itself, the team, and the coaching staff, but what really drew me to Penn was the people and place. The school is extremely competitive in both academics and athletics, meaning you are challenged in all aspects of life. The fact that Penn is full of people who strive to meet these challenges rather than shy away from them, was important to me as those are the kind of people I wanted to surround myself with, people constantly pushing to be better in all areas. Both the coaches and the players are this type of people making them my type of people, people who will help me get the most out of my four years and many years after.
What are you most looking forward to at UPENN?
I am definitely looking forward to the people I will meet at Penn. The friendships I have made through basketball are some of my strongest, and I am excited to develop new ones on and off the court. But equally, I am beyond excited to get to call the Palestra home!
What is your favorite memory playing basketball growing up?
Too many, but I’d have to limit it to this past summer with my AAU team and winning the Adidas Nationals Gold Bracket. The game was very intense, with crazy fan sections on both sides, something you don’t get a lot in AAU. It went into double OT and we won in the final minute making it the perfect end to a great season.
Any advice for players who are looking to play at the next level? (About the recruiting process, on and off the court, etc.)
The best advice I can give is the little things add up a lot. The type of things like always touching the lines while running sprints in order to never cheat yourself, and your attitude on the bench and on the court. Aspects like hustling and being vocal show a grit and love of the game every coach will appreciate and goes right along with being in shape. Being able to play 32 minutes full out will do nothing but help you. The real work always happens outside of practice: getting in the gym and getting shots up, pushing yourself and holding yourself accountable as there is always an aspect of your game you can improve. One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
How will your high school team be this upcoming season? What are your goals entering your final season?
Our team this season will be very competitive, we won the ISL and made it to the NEPSAC Class AA finals last year and this year should be no different. We lost 5 seniors, 2 of the starters to Yale and URichmond, but the team should still be a force to be reckoned with. Losing in the finals last year, especially in a winnable game, was extremely frustrating so we are going in to the season with a chip on our shoulders. I know I speak for all 4 of the seniors when I say we want to leave everything on the court this year and retire from Tabor Basketball with no regrets left behind.
What are you most excited for in your senior year?
Basketball season, I am very, very excited for basketball to start up again because not only do I love the game, I love the players as well. I’ll say it again and again, my Tabor team is family to me, the group of us is literally inseparable, and I am excited to cherish every moment on and off the court I spend with them. I can’t wait for all the highlights the season is bound to bring.
Now hear from Tabor Academy Head Coach, Will Becker, and his thoughts on Faye.
Where did you first see Faye play?
Her NexElite Coach sent me film from her AAU season after her 9th grade year. I then went to several of her AAU games that summer.
What have you enjoyed most about coaching Faye?
She works incredibly hard all of the time and always puts her team’s needs first.
Tell me a little bit about Faye as a person off the court?
She is incredibly smart and hardworking both on and off of the court. She has a great sense of humor and can always make me and the team laugh.
What are you most excited about seeing Faye do at the next level?
Continue to develop her footwork and aggressive play.
Any other thoughts?
It is so rare to find a player with this size coupled with incredible coordination and work ethic. She combines this with integrity and depth of character. She is a very special player with a very bright future.
Now hear from Boston Showstoppers Head Coach, Clinton Lassiter, on his thoughts on Faye!
Where did you first see Faye play?
Faye joined the program in the Fall of her junior year. That was my first time seeing her play.
What have you enjoyed most about coaching Faye?
Faye was always very coachable and would do anything that was asked of her.
Tell me a little bit about Faye as a person off the court?
Faye off the court has a funny personality and extremely generous.
What are you most excited about seeing Faye do at the next level?
I am excited to see Faye continue to blossom as a player and as a student at Penn. Penn was a school she was fighting to get and thankfully they were just as interested in her as she was in them.
Any other thoughts?
Knowing Faye’s story of a young lady who entered her junior year with 0 scholarship offers and doubted by many. She put the hard work in and trusted us with her recruitment process. By the summer of her junior year, she wrapped up with about 12+ scholarship offers.