Orangeburg Co. athletic director helping student athletes become NCAA eligible
ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - For many high school seniors, it’s time for them to start thinking about their next steps when they graduate in the spring. Lots of students will go to college or commit to playing a college sport.
One coach in the Orangeburg County School District is helping his athletes take that next step, and his leadership is getting them prepared for post-graduation success.
Coach Keith Parks says the last thing he wants is for his high schoolers to miss out on the chance to play sports in college and receive athletic scholarships.
Parks is the athletic director and varsity boys basketball coach at North High School, located in Orangeburg County. He recently utilized the school’s lunch period to register the entire Varsity basketball team and other student-athletes with the NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Center.
The NCAA Clearinghouse is an organization that performs academic record evaluations to determine if a prospective student-athlete is eligible to participate at an NCAA Division I or II college as a freshman student-athlete. Registration with the Clearinghouse is required for eligibility.
However, many athletes and their families don’t know about this critical step and miss the opportunity to take their athletic career to the next level.
“No matter how good our children are, if we’re not registering them for the Clearinghouse whether there is lack of knowledge or just not knowing about it, then it does them no good,” Parks said. “They still won’t be able to go to college. So, this is just one of the pre-measures of making sure our kids have everything they need to be able to succeed at that next level.”
The district says this proactive step by Coach Parks has opened doors for these young men, making them eligible to receive much-needed scholarship funds and offers from Division 1, 2, and 3 universities.
Students say that he has done so much to support them beyond just athletics.
“He helped me with a lot of things. He taught me some things I didn’t even know for the last couple years,” senior and varsity basketball student at North High Amaveon Calloway said. “Not only that, he just don’t teach me about basketball, he teach me about life. Not only the things that we’re supposed to do on the court, in the classrooms too. Academics first. He always makes sure we straight on academics and then basketball comes along.”
Amaveon and other North High athletes say Parks is the reason they now have a shot at playing sports in college.
For information on NCAA eligibility, visit https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/.
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