By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
GUYTON — Alexus Parker is ready to lead the South Effingham girls’ basketball program.
The Mustangs new head coach starred at Calvary Day in Savannah before earning a scholarship to Prairie View A&M in Texas. She was a second-team All-American with the Panthers and will finish playing in a pro-am league in Atlanta in the upcoming weeks.
Her credentials show she’s walked the walk.
“I feel like I can come in and shine my light,” said Parker, who will take over for Jenifer Hall this winter.
Record-wise, SEHS had been going through a difficult stretch. The Mustangs were 7-16 last season, 3-9 in Region 2-AAAAAA play. They haven’t had a winning season since 2015-16 when they went 23-5.
Two years before that, SEHS went to the Final Four of the state tournament.
So winning basketball is possible. Parker, 26, won’t shy away from the challenge.
“I grew up playing with five brothers. I know about challenges,” she said, laughing.
Parker coached at St. Andrew’s in Savannah before rejoining her former coach Jackie Hamilton last season as an assistant at Calvary.
It was nice coming home where she averaged 22.6 points a game as a high school senior, leading the Cavaliers to the semifinals of the Class A Private state tournament.
The 5-foot-10 guard continued her stellar play in college. She was a 1,000-point scorer during her career at Prairie View, including 15.7-points a game as a senior.
She earned a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry.
Parker will teach biology at Crossroads Academy.
And she will be looking to build chemistry with a basketball team that lost only three seniors.
“When I moved to Guyton, I thought the community was amazing,” Parker said. “With my faith, I’m looking at (coaching at SEHS) as if it’s a calling. These girls have skills, it’s just a matter of building their confidence and keeping on a high level of positivity.”
Because of her late hire (officially not until July 27), Parker said the Mustangs didn’t participate in a summer league, but they scrimmaged amongst themselves throughout July.
SEHS should have some key players returning. Starting point guard Elena Hairston is just a sophomore. Kay’mar Griffin and Laney Dobbs are just juniors.
“I’m just getting to know these kids,” Parker said. “I know what they’re going through because I’ve been there. You can connect when you know them at ground level.”