Parrom ready to look forward, not sulk in past - The Explorer: Sports

Parrom ready to look forward, not sulk in past

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Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:25 am

After Arizona wrapped up its two-game exhibition slate Tuesday, Kevin Parrom wanted to let the Tucson media and public know "for the 100th time" that he is 100 percent and ready to play basketball.

All anybody wants to ask the 6-6 wing is if he is completely recovered from gunshot wounds to his right knee and left hand that forced him to miss the start of his junior year last season. Once he did step on the court after missing just four games, Parrom's season ended prematurely Jan. 28 after he broke his right foot during a home game against Washington.

The emotional pain in his life was far worse around this time last year, however. The Bronx, N.Y., native lost both his grandmother and mother within months, and it was during that late September trip back home to see an ill Lisa Williams one last time when his life turned upside-down.

A year later, there is still a part of head coach Sean Miller that regrets not redshirting him.

Associated Press

The hug between Kevin Parrom (left), assistant coach Book Richardson and the rest of the staff in his return to the floor was one of the memorable images from an otherwise forgettable 2011-12 season.

"I think that the reasons that we didn't redshirt him were all the right reasons," Miller added. "Most importantly, that if we took the ability for him to be a part of the team a year ago - to travel with us, to have that carrot out there that he could play - I don't know if he would still be with us because of all the hardship he had to deal with."

Parrom said basketball was the only avenue he had to escape from the tragic events.

"Last year, I felt like I had no choice but to play, just to clear my head," Parrom said.

So when that only release from real life was no longer there, Parrom said times got tough again. The sixth man turned into a cheerleader, even tracking road games on Twitter and agonizing with any missteps in the Wildcats' performances.

Ironically, with no choice but to sit around, the time away from the court eventually helped release him from the built-up personal anguish. In addition, Parrom was able to take a few extra classes and speed up his road to graduation.

"I tried to make the best of it," Parrom said.

Don't expect a pity party from the senior.

Parrom needed about two months to recover from the broken foot. It was then right back to work, an extensive rehabilitation process with strength and conditioning coach Chris Rounds waiting for him.

With his legs under him again, Parrom then returned to the court in the summer. Taking a page out of departed guard Kyle Fogg's book, both Parrom and Nick Johnson - the two Wildcats battling for Fogg's old shooting guard spot in the starting lineup - hoisted 20,000 jump shots in the offseason.

During a two-game summer trip to the Bahamas, Parrom tied for the team lead in scoring at 18.5 points per game and connected on 65 percent (13 of 20) shots from the field. One of the premier long-range threats on the team this season, he also converted 6 of 10 3-pointers.

"He's worked really hard across the board to have this last year be one of meaning for him," Miller said. "I think all of our players can feed off of that and that's where you can see his leadership ability, by the example that he has set and continues to set."

Although competitors on the practice floor, Johnson can only admire the work his teammate has put in - and the lack of excuses he's offered up along the way.

"It's no secret that he's had a hard time," Johnson said. "With everything that's happened to him, I commend him on his perseverance. Not a lot of guys can go through what he's gone through and come back and have a great summer like he did. I'm definitely looking forward to him having a big year."

Associated Press

Kevin Parrom is ready to make the questions about his health disappear, once and for all, when Arizona opens the season Sunday against Charleston Southern. Tipoff at McKale Center is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Off the court, things have started to look up, too.

The addition of Xavier transfer Mark Lyons reunited a pair of middle school friends and former travel-ball teammates from New York. When Parrom was originally recruited by Xavier, Miller was the coach and the staff appointed Lyons as his official host.

Along with New Jersey native and walk-on Quinton Crawford, Parrom now has three roommates he can relate to with East Coast ties.

"It helps having a guy from back home, a guy that knows what kind of person you are, a guy that knows what goes on back home," Parrom said.

"I've known him as long as I've known coach Miller. So it was weird that he's ending his career at Arizona with me."

With just three days until the season opener, there is still work to be done, however. Miller said Parrom's practice performances, as of late, could still indicate some rust, and Parrom added that the next step in his road back is consistency.

But the competitive environment with Johnson, Lyons, Jordin Mayes and Gabe York all competing for minutes can be attributed as a factor, too.

And it's the depth - plus the addition of a talented frontcourt that makes up 75 percent of the nation's No. 3-ranked recruiting class - that has Parrom thinking more about the present and what's to come.

"I feel like I'm going to have a great year," Parrom said. "As a team, I feel like we're going to have a very successful year.

"This year is much different."

(Editor's Note: Tracy mcDannald is the senior editor of GOAZCATS.  For more  Wildcats' coverage, visit the website at GOAZCATS.com.)

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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