Katlyn Parrish is a fundamentally sound basketball player who can do it all on the court.
During her four years in a Golden Falcon’s jersey, Parrish has worked hard on and off the court.
And her hard work has not gone unobserved — especially by the University of Mount Olive. On Friday afternoon, Parrish signed a national letter of intent for basketball and track and field with the Trojans.
“It is so exciting because I’ve waited for this day all of my life,” Parrish said.
Initially, Parrish did not think about going to college for track and field. Parrish, who also plays tennis, attended a UMO tennis workout, and UMO head tennis coach Kevin Coghill asked her if she thought about going to college for track and field.
Coghill put her in contact with UMO head track and field coach Earl Graves, who liked her stats and put Parrish in contact with UMO women’s basketball coach Wendy Lee.
In track and field, Parrish participates in shot put and discus.
“I really didn’t think I was going to get a scholarship for track and field because I started last year and only threw at two meets, but I broke the school record, and I was really surprised for that too,” Parrish said. “My family told me to try track and field, and I went there, and my friends told me all I had to was put the shot put to my neck and throw it, and I fell in love with it.”
This season on the basketball court, Parrish averaged 8.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
She helped lead the Golden Falcons to an 8-5 overall record. It was the Golden Falcons’ first winning season since 2015.
Parrish said this season had its up and downs but persevering through a challenging season taught her valuable lessons that she will take with her to the next level.
“At first, I was discouraged that we weren’t going to play, and I’m really glad that we got to play anyways,” Parrish said. “With the amount of time we had, it was really fun.”
One of the things Parrish loved about playing at C.B. Aycock is how close the team was. She plans to major in biology with a concentration in biomedical sciences and plans on becoming an emergency room doctor or an anesthesiologist.
“Coach Pate (C.B. Aycock head coach Randy Pate) has been a really fun coach to work with, and he’s helped a whole lot on and off the court. He’s like a mentor to me,” Parrish said. “My teammates and I had a really quick connection when we met in eighth grade, and I was really surprised we connected that fast.”
Pate said Parrish is one of the most positive players on the court and does whatever it takes to help the Golden Falcons win.
She never gets down on her teammates and never shows her frustration with herself.
Pate hopes Parrish will serve as lasting examples for underclassmen as the Golden Falcon’s girls’ basketball program continues to turn the corner.
“I’m so excited, and I’m thrilled beyond measure for her. She’s worked so hard to pursue it, and the fact that she gets an opportunity to play two sports is fantastic,” Pate said. “She does so many things well, and I just hope I get time to watch her play.”