At eight-years-old, Nicholaus Parker played a number of youth sports - including track, football and basketball – all the while, watching his two older brothers, L.J. and Marcus, grow into the multi-sport athletes they came to be.
But earlier this basketball season, Nick, as he is called, scored his 2,000th high school career point – a feat that not many in the state have accomplished.
As youth competitors, the Parker brothers’ parents always kept the boys on the same team, which helped with transportation and allowed the parents to support their three sons at practices and games. This, of course, meant that the youngest of three boys, Nick, always had to play on teams with boys two or three years older than him.
However, at the age of 10, Nick began to play on teams without his brothers, and his experience and development on the basketball court began to be apparent. Nick, for the first time, played with the La. Bayou Flames, a 12-and-under basketball team.
Two years later, as a member of the Flames, the team finished eighth in the nation during a tournament in Hampton, Virginia – finishing their season with a record of 59-9.
At the time, his father, Leonard, was the strength and conditioning coach for the team and was scouting all potential teams they played during the national tournament.
“One thing I realized during that tournament was that Nick was one of the best guards in the nation,” said Leonard Parker. “Not only did he score over 20 points per game, but he kept the other guards from scoring at all.”
The elder Parker decided that the best route for Nick was to sit out of other sports and focus on basketball.
As a seventh grader, Nick was fortunate enough to attend North Iberville High School (K-12), affording him an opportunity of a lifetime – he was able to play varsity sports despite his age.
That year, he started on the basketball team as a seventh grader, averaging 10 points a game, scoring 310 points during the year.
His highlights that year were a 21-point game against Brusly, a 20-point game against Donaldsonville High, and an 11-point game at Port Allen High, where both of his brothers played at the time. Nick was also able to play in an LHSAA playoff game.
After North Iberville High School was closed down, Nick transferred to Port Allen Middle for his eighth grade year where he helped lead the Eagles to an undefeated season. While at Port Allen Middle, Nick met three other eighth graders on the team who shared his love for basketball: Joshua Walker, Javez Grant, and Adron Franklin. Marcus Keyes, who was a seventh grader at the time, also became a close friend and valuable member of that year’s team.
“Those four seniors over the past five years have created a bond that is family-like; if you see one, you will see them all,” Leonard Parker said.
As Nick entered high school, he quickly established himself as the leading scorer on the Pelicans basketball team, averaging 18 points per game as a freshman. He has led the Pels in scoring for the past three years while helping them to three straight playoff appearances and being named to the 1st team All-District in each of those years.
Along with the All-District honors, Nick is a two-time Baton Rouge All Metropolitan selection in addition to being selected 2nd Team All State.
The Pels’ record the past three years is 55-29,
Nick’s 2,000 points over his high school career came, beginning in his seventh grade year with 310 points. After spending a year at Port Allen Middle, Nick scored 540 points, 695 points and 435 points in his ninth-11th grade seasons, ending his junior season with a total of 1,980 points.
Nick has tallied 173 points (22 points per game) so far as a senior for a total of 2153 points.
His parents said that they are proud of him for his countless hours in the gym, the weight room, playing AAU basketball and running track, but most importantly for maintaining a 3.7 GPA in his core classes and scoring a 20 on the ACT.
“All the hard work that he has put in has gotten him to this point in his career,” Leonard Parker said.
Port Allen head basketball coach Brandon Ricard said that he has enjoyed coaching Parker throughout his career.
“Nick is the best guard and most complete player I have had the opportunity to coach,” said Ricard. “He is a leader in every sense of the word, and he makes others around him better.”
Nick said that he appreciates all of his teammates for helping him get to this point, especially the seniors who have been with him since middle school: Joshua Walker, Javez Grant and Adron Franklin.