As someone who definitely maximized college, Parker’s the perfect blueprint. Parker’s father, Johnny, is a law professor at Tulsa and his mother, Linda has worked for Tulsa Public Schools Parker’s entire life. Academics are a pillar of their family, and Parker’s parents set high standards for him, sister Nikki and brother Jason, a former Tulsa basketball player and current Muskogee High School athletic director who wrote his own book in 2016.
While he had several full-ride basketball offers, Parker applied for roughly 20 academic scholarships and garnered $10-15,000 from those opportunities. At Georgia he deviated from the typical student’s path, taking 15 to 18 hours each semester and three to nine hours each summer. He pursued his degree in Business Administration and Management like a defender closing quickly on a would-be shooter.
He bested his siblings, who both got their undergraduate degrees in three years, by getting his in two and a half. Some might consider that workload academic self-torture now that mental health is a hot topic in college sports, but Parker’s grind had the opposite effect.
“After those two years were done of grinding and pushing it to the wall, which was a lot easier than it sounds, because I was finished, my school load dropped tremendously in graduate school…” Parker said. “Then on top of that, because I showed that I was a responsible student and my coaches didn’t have to worry about me off the court, all my study halls are taken away, and now all my tutoring sessions are gone.