By Kyle LoJacono
Chris Parra reached a milestone never before attained by a Wiregrass Ranch boys basketball player when he scored 21 against Tampa Catholic Jan. 22.
The 5-foot-9 senior guard put in his 1,500th career point, becoming the first in the program’s seven-year history to reach the milestone.
“I didn’t even know when it happened,” Parra said. “Coach told me I was getting close like maybe a month ago, but I wasn’t worried about it. I just wanted to win, so I just forgot about it. … I think down the road I’ll look back and say, ‘Wow, 1,500,’ but right now it doesn’t mean that much to me. I want to help the team get back to the playoffs and then get a chance to play in college.”
Parra, who is averaging 15.8 points, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals this season, started playing basketball while in seventh grade at Weightman Middle in Wesley Chapel. Before that, he was focused on baseball.
He played his first two years of high school ball at Wesley Chapel before his family moved into Wiregrass Ranch’s boundary last season, giving him a unique perspective on one of Pasco County’s best cross-town rivalries.
“I’m still friends with those guys, so I have no hatred for them,” Parra said. “It’s not like I’m ready to go kill them. It’s always a really good game.”
Bulls coach Jeremy Calzone was happy to have Parra on his roster.
“I told Chris this when he first got here; we hated playing against him,” Calzone said. “He’s a tough player who’s tough to guard and kind of had an attitude. Now that I’ve gotten to know him, he’s just such a great kid with a great family. It’s really been a pleasure to have him. He’s a great leader. He’s great in the classroom. He’s improved his GPA by almost a point since he’s been here. I’m very pleased with Chris.”
Parra has shown his versatility in recent weeks.
He is primarily a shooting guard, but has been playing point because of an ankle injury to Dimarco Burgess.
“I have no problem handling the ball,” Parra said. “I do love to catch and shoot. I love that, and point takes away a lot of that. Sometimes you have to slow things down, and I like being able to recognize that and make it happen. If I want to go to the next level, that’s probably going to be my position.”
Parra is the first to reach 1,500 for the program, but it appears he will have company very soon as senior forward Rico Kereny is just 14 points from the mark.
“The question is, has this ever happened before at any school to have two 1,500 point kids together and getting it about a week apart,” Calzone said. He added, “I don’t know if I’ll ever have that again in my career. It’s just an unbelievable stat. … I just have to say thank you for me getting these kinds of players at the same time.”
Wiregrass Ranch played at Mitchell Jan. 28, but results were not available by press time. The Bulls travel to Hudson Jan. 29 and host Wesley Chapel Feb. 1. Games start at 7:30 p.m.
—Follow Kyle LoJacono on Twitter: @Kyle_Laker
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.