Senior Shasta Parker began her fourth and final season as a mustang this winter on San Marin varsity basketball. Last season, she put up the league’s highest average of 16.3 points-per-game and led Marin County with 8.9 rebounds-per-game. Parker started playing the sport in elementary school and has committed to it since. She began her high school career on the varsity team her freshman year and has consistently been a top-scorer.
Among other praise, SF Gate named Parker an honorable mention the past two years in their All-Metro teams along with four other MCAL athletes. Parker received an honorable mention in All-North Coast Section junior year. In both sophomore and junior years, she was selected as part of the first team all-league.
In basketball, communication and collaboration are necessary for a successful team. Parker plays an important role in the dynamic of her team, according to a few of her teammates. Junior Hannah Persky described Parker as a good leader and a team player. Senior Naomi Michaelis said that Parker’s competitiveness adds a lot of character to the team.
“I could imagine that her opponents see her as a threat because she’s a very talented basketball player,” Michaelis said.
This season, San Marin welcomed a new head coach for varsity girls basketball, math teacher David Blair. Blair described Parker as assertive and a take-control player. He looks/looked forward to helping her achieve her goals as an athlete throughout her final high school season, which include being recruited to play basketball in college.
Parker said that she is currently communicating with some interested schools with the help of her former coach, Dan Lucia. She hopes to be a part of a college team, but also understands that she won’t be playing basketball forever. Parker plans on studying biology and potentially earning a medical or nursing degree.
Lucia coached Parker through three basketball seasons and believes that through many hours of hard work and practice time, Parker has become a complete and more confident player. He remembered first coaching her and noticing that while she was tall and athletic, she was a bit clumsy while growing into her size. This earned her the nickname “Baby Giraffe.” He said that she has shown to be extremely strong inside the court and at the same time can play point guard with great ball handling, outside shooting and speed. He also admired her personality and presence on the team.
“As everyone who knows Shasta says, she is a happy-go-lucky person with a smile on her face always,” Lucia said.
Off the court, Parker is a dedicated and engaged student, according to Jennifer Carlomagno, her former AP Biology teacher. She recalled Parker always putting forth her best effort and showing strong participation in class.
“I could tell that she was really interested in learning, not just for the sake of passing the test,” Carlomagno said.
During the fall, Parker participated in a completely new sport for her, water polo. While basketball remains her favorite activity, she thoroughly enjoyed learning a new game and meeting new teammates. Water polo was surprisingly really fun, Parker said, who originally tried the sport after experiencing knee tendonitis from basketball.