Parks joins Briarwood 1,000 points club

Until last week, Briarwood senior guard Lauren Parks had only dreamed of scoring 1,000 points. A first-quarter lay-up made that dream a reality Friday, as Parks led Briarwood past Chelsea, 62-41, with four 3-pointers and 18 points.

“I’m still kind of in shock. I don’t know what to think,” Parks said.

The dream began as an eighth grade varsity player when she watched a senior teammate become the last 1,000 point scorer for the Lions.

“Oh that would be cool,” Parks remembered thinking at the time. “But I never thought I was anywhere near it, especially this year.”

Parks entered the game four points away from the milestone. A 3 and a 2 scratched in the first column of the scorebook is what marks the moment and is how Briarwood assistant coach Lori Kerley shared the news. Casually sitting in the stands watching the boys’ game, Kerley pulled out the scorebook to talk to her senior leader.

“You see this number right here?” Kerley asked while pointing to Parks’ first lay-up of the game.

“Yeah?” Parks inquired.

“That is what got you your 1,000th point,” the acting head coach for the game said.

Parks was in a word “shocked.”

After arriving home, she heard from the man who kept the milestone a secret — head coach Jim Brown.

“I hear congratulations are in order,” Parks heard over the phone. “It’s a terrific honor for you and our team and one that you deserve.”

Brown was forced to sit at home and await the call after hoping that he’d be able to attend the game. Doctors orders told him otherwise, keeping him away from a game at least one more week as he recovers from a Jan. 3 heart attack. Parks is his fourth player to reach the 1,000-point milestone since he took over the girls’ hoops program in 1993.

“She is that player with the ‘it’ factor. She’s got great court presence. She’s a terrific shooter,” Brown said. “She makes it so difficult for teams to press us because of the way she handles the ball and really makes the players around her better”

This year, Brown says Parks has given up her scoring to spread the ball around, but the stat line doesn’t show it as she averages 11.8 points per game to go along with her average of six assists.

With the Briarwood team poised for the postseason, Parks will have a chance to climb the leader list. Already atop the school’s 3-point list with 200 career 3-pointers as of Monday, Parks is less than 300 points from the all-time lead. That lead is held by U.S. Women’s Soccer player Catherine Reddick Whitehill, who scored 1,319 in her basketball career at Briarwood.

But for Parks, the points don’t matter as much as making this a season to remember.

“We have just an incredible team this year. Every single person can contribute. There’s not a huge need for me to score. I know that they’re going to do what needs to be done,” she said. “For me the points don’t matter at all I just want our team to be successful.”

Parks is set to be honored Jan. 27 at halftime of the boys’ basketball game agianst Chilton County. Brown said he hopes the presentation will take place that night. He also hopes to be on the bench for the first time since his heart attack. He returned to teaching yesterday.