Main Dish: How Cameron Parker broke an NCAA Record
Cameron Parker is the single game assists record holder, with 24 against Pine Manor. But the pass first guard isn’t just about his assists.
Sacred Heart sophomore guard Cameron Parker had three assists in the first three minutes of a game against Pine Manor on December 1, 2019. He continued to pass, and had reached nine by the 10:10 mark in the first half. Dime after dime and now Parker saw himself at 15 total assists after one half of play.
The record was in reach, and Parker knew he was going to break it.
“I asked what the record was, and from that point on I wanted to break the record,” noted Parker, who finished with 24 assists. That number broke the previous assists in a single game record, held by four former college basketball players, including Trae Young, Sherman Douglas, Avery Johnson, and Tony Fairley, who each dished out 22 dimes in a single game.
Parker received a lot of praise for his accolades, including posts and tweets from major sports networks and personalities on social media, but he couldn’t be more selfless. In fact, Parker said that it was a record he was proud to break, because no teammate can get mad when you’re giving them opportunities to score.
But it’s even deeper than that for Parker. He said, “I don’t pay attention to that stuff. If it comes, great, but if it doesn’t I’m not going to hang my head over it.”
And trust me, it will come for Parker. According to basketballreference.com, The sophomore stud is averaging an impressive 9.0 assists per game, while also scoring 9.8 points per game, and pulling down 5.3 rebounds per contest. This isn’t a new thing for him either. The 6-foot-2-inch guard from Beaverton, Oregon had 23 points in a game against Binghamton earlier in the year, while putting up a jaw dropping 16 point/16 assist double-double in a win against Quinnipiac on November 24.
While Parker’s assists totals are certainly eye catching, he made sure point out that he’s more than just a passer. “I look to score, but in this game I knew I was close to breaking something,” said Parker. He continued, “I’m just scratching the surface. Once I get my jump shot down, I’m working on other categories, and defensively. Everyone labeled me a passer, but I’m trying to do everything.” That work has been paying off noticeably, as Parker also had seven rebounds and four steals in the record-breaking performance.
Image Credit: gettyimages
While it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, Parker hasn’t let that get to his head. “I was excited, but I’m still focused on the season and winning games,” he said. “I consider myself one of the best guards in the country, but I’m still trying to stay motivated and be a leader.”
It may be tough to do that, as Sacred Heart, a 4-4 team in the NEC – a conference that is more than certainly just a one bid conference- doesn’t get the same type of press as a Duke or a Michigan State. However, Parker can’t control the entire NEC, so he knows that if Sacred Heart wants to join the ‘Big Dance’ – something they’ve never done in 20 years as a Division 1 program – he must focus on leading them to an NEC tournament victory.
Year 21 might be the golden year for the Pioneers. Parker made it clear that while breaking records and putting up fantastic stats may look good on paper, an NCAA Tournament berth is the main goal, saying, “If I have all that and still don’t win, it doesn’t mean anything. This is the closest team I’ve ever been a part of… we’re all more determined than ever.”
Who’s to say that can’t be done? The Pioneers currently find themselves at .500 through eight games, and showed some promise after defeating Brown (4-3) at home earlier in November. The Fairfield, Connecticut based college will have more chances to prove themselves, with a good test against 2019 Round of 32 team UCF on December 15th, amongst other non-conference opponents, before the start of conference play.
The Pioneers, who have won four of five games, including their last two, are also more than just Parker. Although he clearly controls the entire offensive mojo, he is surrounded by a trio of guards who are all averaging double figures in points per game to this point in the season.
Don’t think that Parker is just a one-hit-wonder. He says that he continues to work hard, citing that he wants to be more consistent in all facets of his game to give his team the best chance to come away with wins, game in and game out.
Parker and the Pioneers will have the chance to continue that, as they face off against UMass Lowell on Wednesday, December 4, at 7:00 pm.
But the road doesn’t just stop there. “I think it’d be really big for the school to make March Madness”, says Parker; “I feel pretty confident. I consider myself one of the best guards in the country, but I’m still trying to stay motivated and be a leader.”