Athlete of the Month: Parker Hill

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Senior basketball player Parker Hill is shown standing next to a fellow teammate as apart of the Washington Post’s first team All- Met. Hill was selected to the first team for the 2020 season.

By Justin Greenzaid, Sports Editor

The novel coronavirus pandemic has stolen from many people in the WCHS community, but none more than the WCHS girls basketball team and current WCHS senior Parker Hill. The team was set to play their semi-final game in the Maryland State Tournament when it was initially delayed, and then cancelled entirely due to the spreading pandemic. The WCHS team was a favorite to win the state championship. For the upperclassmen and leaders of the team, it was crushing. 

“Being denied the chance to compete for the championship last year was devastating as I believe we stood a high chance of winning,” Hill said. “Personally, my mom had won her state championship in her junior year and I had looked forward to the possible generational success story. It was definitely a let down, considering our undefeated season and winning momentum heading into the final four but I like to appreciate that things look bright in my future.”

A year later and the team would have no season at all, one of the only sports in the county to not have a season. With all this time off from playing, it is easy for one to get out of shape and lose motivation. But, this is not the case for Hill, who works out consistently even in the off season. Hill, unlike many other high school players, has a long road ahead of her in her basketball career as she is committed to play women’s basketball at Princeton University beginning next fall. 

“Currently my practice routine is working out with my individual coach Larry Gray at his gym four times a week,”Hill said. “Mostly, I am preparing for college basketball by doing some agility training, honing my shot, and generally upping the level of my play,” 

One may think getting an offer to attend the prestigious University of Princeton is enough of an accomplishment. But, on top of that Hill has way more. As a junior, Hill was selected to The Washington Post’s 2020 Girls Basketball All-Metropolitan first team, which is one of the highest honors for a high school athlete in the DMV area. She was also invited to the team USA U16 team trials in 2019 and McDonald’s All-American evaluation event in 2020. 

“It is difficult to pick the best basketball accomplishment because they all fall into different spheres,” Hill said. “But I would say making the Washington Post All-Mets First team was an extremely big deal for me. I had not seen it coming and was genuinely astonished at the talent that surrounded me when I went to do the photoshoot for the team.” 

Hill has played for the WCHS basketball team since her freshman year and has grown as a player as she’s progressed through high school. Hill averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 3.5 steals per game during the 2020 high school season when the WCHS team made their state-semifinal run. 

“Playing for Churchill has developed my skills as a forward. Prior to playing for Churchill I played mostly guard positions on my club teams and even a point guard in one of my earlier years of travel basketball,” Hill said. “It has also improved my leadership skills as although I wasn’t a captain last year, the other players still respected me as a knowledgeable player.”

Hill was a huge contributor to the team’s success and many of the younger players have looked up to her as she shows a lot of leadership. Making sure she leaves an impact on the team for years to come is something Hill made sure of doing, as she has taught the underclassmen how to be  good teammates and well rounded players.

“Last year when I was a freshman, I liked her headstrong leadership. I appreciated when she would run over plays with me during practice,” WCHS sophomore guard Dillan George said. “She is a great teammate and an even better player. We’ll all miss having Parker on the team and I look forward to watching her play at the next level.”

Achieving the likes of a player like Hill is certainly not easy and takes a lot of hard work. From the very beginning of her playing career she was motivated to be the best. She started playing at a young age when her mother introduced her to the sport and put her on a team.

She played not only basketball, but also other sports when she was younger. As a very tall and athletic kid, Hill was naturally talented at virtually every sport. However, basketball stood out to her since she thoroughly enjoyed it. She focused more and more on basketball and never looked back. 

“Parker is a very hard worker. She has played AAU ball for years, and even during this past year, she continued to work on her game. Her work ethic, combined with her talent, is a great combo,” WCHS girls basketball coach Katelyn Blanken said. “She has an extremely supportive family, who has committed a lot of time to practices, games, and tournaments over the years!”

In the future, Hill looks ahead to her academic and athletic career at Princeton, and maybe even the professional level from there. For now she is continuing to train hard, preparing for the next level and continuing to enjoy her high school years at WCHS. Even for a dedicated athlete like Hill, it is certainly important to have some fun from time to time. 

Hill has the entire WCHS community supporting her, especially her teammates that she has impacted in such a positive way in the past few years. It is safe to say she is going to continue to excel at what she does and make a name for herself. 

“I am most excited to play basketball at Princeton next year. The team and school are the perfect fit for me athletically and academically and I look forward to winning the Ivy League and getting into the NCAA tournament,” Hill said.