When North Arkansas College starts school again in August, the Lady Pioneer basketball team will have a player that has several sports accolades roaming the halls.
Last week Kenzie Parker inked a letter-of-intent to play basketball at North Arkansas College.
Parker has been a member of two state championship soccer teams and two Harrison basketball teams that have made runs in the Class 4A State Basketball Tournament.
The Harrison senior will move schools that are less than four miles apart. The location and the expense of Northark was a big draw for Parker.
"I like the fact that Northark is close to home and inexpensive," she said. "I like the fact that I can graduate debt free."
When Parker takes the court in Pioneer Pavilion, she will be ready for what ever Lady Pioneer coach Bobby Howard throws at her.
"Between my travel team and my high school team, I have played all positions," she said when asked what position that she would play in college. "However, at Northark I will be playing a guard position."
The Harrison graduate sees a weakness that she has to work on for the upcoming season.
"I need to work on free throws," she stated.
Lady Pioneer coach Bobby Howard is happy to have Parker on the squad.
"I am excited to have Kenzie become a Lady Pioneer," said the coach. "She is a hard worker and very good student."
While at Northark, Parker will start school with an undecided major.
"I am very undecided," she joked. "I don't want to do anything that involves public speaking."
The game of basketball has been important for Parker.
“I like basketball because it is a fun and exciting game to play," she said. "I like the competitive nature of the game and being a part of a team."
Basketball has been an educational tool for Parker as well.
"Basketball has taught me to enjoy the excitement of a win and cope with the disappointment of a loss."
During her career at Harrison, there is one basketball memory that stands out.
"My favorite memory on the court was sinking a half court shot at the buzzer during a close game," stated Parker.
Parker was a versatile athlete. She played basketball and soccer in high school, but she also ran track and played softball earlier in her school career.
While playing sports, Parker picked up several honors. She was All-State in soccer as a junior. She was twice listed as All-District in basketball and soccer. She was selected to the Four-State All-Tournament team in Willard, Mo. She also won the Lendel Thomas scholarship.
While Parker was competing on the court, she was also being competitive in the classroom. She finished with a 4.1 GPA and received honors in environmental science. She was a member of the National Honor Society.
Leaving Harrison High school will be bittersweet for Parker.
"I will miss all of the friends that I have made," she said. "I will also miss being able to play multiple sports."
Parker, who is the daughter of Kevin and Serena Parker and Mark and Kristie Marshall. She lists Autumn, Lakyn, Hunter, Kaylee, Kori, Brennan, Nikkey and Ethan as siblings.
An honor of playing sports in college takes a lot of work. Parker recognizes all of the coaches that have helped her accomplish this feat.
"I would like to thank Coach Howard for giving me this opportunity," she started. "I would like to thank all of the coaches that have pushed me to be my best."