Student Athlete Hailed For Academic Success

© Parker Praised for Academic Excellence

The shiny gold ball is the goal of most athletes in high school but for one student, it's the academic honors that mean just as much. Believe it or not, hoop star Juwan Parker has had low points on the court-as a freshman.

"My very first game I went zero for 13 and had one point and one rebound," he said, one day after his high school graduation.

He rebounded alright, winning 2 state championships at Booker T. Washington, averaging twenty points a game. But his grade point average, 4.1, took his hard work as well.

"If I get hurt, blow a knee out, what good is my basketball? I gotta have something as a back up plan," said Parker.

A National Merit Outstanding Participant, an Oklahoma Scholar, he excelled. Teachers saw it all coming, some days, at six in the morning.

"He would be there shooting his free throws and then he would come into the classroom," said Dr. Anthony Marshall, who says Parker would fly through exams designed to be tough.

His senior year at Booker T., Juwan took 4 classes at the University of Tulsa. He graduated but won't stop on the court or in the classroom.

"I'm the only person that can stop me. If i say i can't do it, then i can't do it.

,Juwan heads to the University of Georgia, next Saturday. He gives his parents, who are educators the credit for encouraging his hard work, at school.