Halil Parks looks like a shooter when he catches the ball. It hits his fingers, and his feet pound the floor in a quick one-two as his eyes lock in on the rim.
The colorful college basketball analyst Bill Raftery would call the approach “getting those puppies organized.”
“It’s one pass and a knockdown with him,” point guard Alan Treakle said. “You just have to get back on defense.”
But this year Wakefield is asking Parks, a senior guard, to be more than the Warriors’ designated marksman. He made 55 three-pointers last season, at least one in all but three games. He’s already hit 17 threes this year.
Parks is another ball-handler for Wakefield alongside Treakle to lead a run-and-gun breakout offense. He’s a slasher who drives to the basket and finishes at the rim. He’s a passer. Against Tuscarora on Monday, he had a game-high four assists.
Parks, who being pursued by mostly Division II schools, feels pretty good with the ball in his hands, he said. He is solely a shooter no longer.
“I feel most comfortable when I get on the wing and I get the ball all to myself,” he said. “It’s sort of like an isolation. My opponents know me as a shooter, but I can take the ball to the rack. I’m crafty with the basketball. I feel like what I do best is slashing to the basket.
“I definitely taught myself that you’re not always going to have an on night. Your shot isn’t always going to be falling the way you want it to. You have to be able to do more on nights like that.”
Parks spent the offseason working on that aspect of his game, improving his first step on drives to the basket and finishing around the rim.
“He’s not just a three-point shooter,” Coach Tony Bentley said.
It’s the latest evolution in his game. As a child, Parks was always the biggest and strongest on the playground, he said. Basketball came easily because he could get to the rim easily. As opponents in his middle school years started clogging up the lane, he developed that jump shot and became a three-point threat.
Now he wants to put both skill sets together, a concept made easier by Bentley’s offense. The Warriors move the ball so quickly, it yields frequent open looks or lanes to the hoop.