Catching Up With….. Alexus Parker
Today’s feature is with former Calvary Day basketball standout Alexus Parker.
During the day, the 23 year-old Parker teaches chemistry and physics at Memorial Day School. In the afternoon, she heads over to Savannah Country Day where she is an assistant coach for the girls varsity basketball team. She is also the director of their Little Hornets League, which is for students in first thru fourth grades.
“Being a young woman, close in age to most of the kids I deal with helps me be able to relate to them in various of ways. It forms a different relationship, to have someone right in front of you who has experienced everything they are either experiencing or about to.” That was the response Parker gave when asked what she likes the most about working with young people. “They have a living model of what being focused and staying grounded in your morals will get you. I’ve always been a leader, but being able to have kids and their parents look at you and tell you how much of a positive impact you have on their child is the most amazing feeling ever. It’s way more than a job to me; its a joy,” she went on to add.
Parker is the da hter of Christina and Bernard Hall. She also has a brother, Jihad Abdur-Rahman, who was a standout student-athlete at Johnson High and played football at Delaware State and West Virginia Wesleyan.
The 5-foot-10 Parker began her high school career at Savannah High but realized that it was in her best interest to leave the public school setting. She says that better opportunities led to her attending Calvary.
“Being at Calvary isolated me from distractions that I had prior to transferring. I was able to honestly tap into a better me, with religion, academics and sports, which ultimately gave me an edge with most of my peers in college. I was well prepared for college, whereas if I would have remained in public school, I believe my distractions would have detoured my success. “
She adds that her senior year at the Waters Avenue campus was one that she will always cherish. On the court she averaged 22.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game while leading the Cavaliers to the state Class A Private School semi-finals.
“I had grown into a young lady that many thought I could not become. I faced many challenges, from academics to basketball, that allowed me to grow in ways that I am most proud of.”
As a member of the girls basketball team at Calvary, she finished her career by scoring over 2,000 points in addition to receiving many awards such as all region, WTOC-TV Player of the Year, Savannah Morning News Player of the Year, Best of Preps Female Athlete of the Year, Best Offensive Player of the Year and Calvary’s Most Valuable Player. She was also honored by the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame
Her play on the court led to Parker receiving a basketball scholarship to Prairie View A&M which competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Parker says that many questioned her decision to attend the Division I Historically Black Institution, saying she was selling herself short. “Sure, I had the offers to major schools, but they did not fill my spirit the way Prairie View did once I visited. It did not take me hours to make a decision once I was on campus. I instantly felt the love, the genuine energy, the winning atmosphere and I immediately fell in love with the fact that the basketball program had won their third conference title prior to me attending. “
Parker enjoyed her time at Prairie View and embraced the HBCU experience. She admits it was a big transition from having attended Calvary but says it was definitely a life changing experience.
In her freshman year at Prairie View Parker suffered a asthma attack that triggered a heart attack that she said was caused by overworking and stress. The episode took place at a team practice and Parker spent three days in a Houston hospital and missed nine games. Parker says her heart is fine now but she suffers from Neurocardiogenic Syncope, which triggers seizures at times.
Doctors recommended that Parker stop playing the game she loved,- saying it was too risky, being that they didn’t know exactly what triggered the attacks. The attacked may have slowed Parker down but it didn’t stop her. “I worked too hard to get to that point and had too many people already counting me out. I wasn’t going to allow what a doctor said to keep me from completing what I’d always dreamed of.”
While at the Houston, Texas based university, Parker finished her career by scoring over 1,300 points. Along the way she earned all conference honors and was named Prairie View’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year. As a senior during the 2016-17 season, she averaged 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Parker says the challenge trying to balance her basketball career while majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry taught her so much about herself as well as life. “It taught me how to value time, how to balance priorities, how to organize, how to factor out the importance of my daily life, and also how to cherish the bonds you make with each person along the way.”
Even though she is a educator, Parker states that she did not have any plans to be a teacher. “Not at all. My plans are to eventually become a neurologist.” She adds that medical school is still in her near future plans.
Coaching is also a career path that Parker may continue to follow. Parker states that she wants to coach on the collegiate level and that she has been blessed with a few opportunities to make her dream come into fruition. “My main reason for doing this is to be able to recruit and give kids in Savannah and Coastal Georgia the opportunity to be on the big platform. Once I am on that level, I have made a commitment to give my first scholarship offer and sign a kid from this area.”
Parker, who along with her family attends Mt. Bethel Holiness Church on Augusta Avenue, says that everything she does, its to honor her parents. “They provided a wonderful life for me and it only makes it right to dedicate every success to them for the many sacrifices they made to make sure my siblings and I had everything we ever needed or wanted.”
Another reason that she is so passionate about her success is because of her friend Shaquille Elijah Morgan who passed away he senior year at Calvary due to a train accident. “He is why I pushed so hard through college, along with my parents.”