Former York High basketball standout Kelvin Parker received some very good news this week.
He's been awarded a scholarship for next season at Mount St. Mary's University by the team's new head coach, Jamion Christian.
As a freshman walk-on this past season, Parker averaged 9.0 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Mount, which is an NCAA Division I school located in Emmitsburg, Md.
Despite his walk-on status, the 6-foot, 3-inch guard started 26 of 29 games during his freshman campaign, averaging 29.8 minutes per game. He shot 42.8 percent from the floor and was 43-of-120 (.358) from 3-point range. He closed out the season with his first career double-double, tallying 15 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in the Mount's 71-62 win at Bryant.
Parker said he was "excited" when he learned on Wednesday that he would get a scholarship for the next school year.
"I was hoping it would happen but I wasn't completely sure," he said.
Parker's freshman season at the Mount turned into a tumultuous one for the program. The man who recruited Parker, Head Coach Robert Burke, was placed on administrative leave late in the season at his own request. The reason for the leave was not disclosed. Burke resigned at the conclusion of the season. Assistant Coach Matt Henry was named acting head coach on Feb. 15 and guided the Mountaineers to a 2-2 record in the team's final four regular-season games. The Mount finished 8-21 overall and 6-12 in the Northeast Conference.
Christian was named the Mount's new head coach on March 26. A 2004 Mount graduate, Christian became the 21st head coach in the history of the program. He came to the Mount from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was an assistant under highly-regarded Shaka Smart.
Parker said he likes the direction the program is headed in under Christian.
"He's good. He's pushing us," Parker said of Christian. "He's going to get us where we need to be and we're going to try to shoot for the NEC championship next year."
Parker said the difficult ending to the Mount season may have helped bond the team.
"It was difficult, but we just came together more as a team and got through the adversity and played our hearts out," he said.
Christian, for his part, likes what he's seen from Parker thus far.
"Anytime you get a chance to reward someone who has done everything the right way and put in the long hours toward excellence, it is a gratifying feeling for everyone involved," Christian said in a statement released by the school. "Kelvin's tremendous dedication to Mount St. Mary's and his ability to help us move into the top part of the league became evident last season. We are very excited to have him as a part of our family and are looking forward to many great things for him both in the classroom and on the basketball floor. We strive to be a program that constantly rewards those who do the right thing and who exemplify everything it embodies to be a proud member of our family."
Parker averaged 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds over the final 10 games of the season, including a career-high 21-point effort in the Mount's 77-63 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson. That performance helped Parker earn NEC Rookie of the Week honors that week.
-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com or at 854-1575, ext. 455.