West recognized for outstanding season
Rebecca Coleman / Sun Star Reporter
April 19, 2011
April 9, 2011 is officially known as Parrish West Day in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, Fairbanks Mayor Jerry Cleworth and North Pole Mayor Douglas Isaacson signed the decree at a reception held at the JP Jones Community Development Center on April 9.
West, a senior and UAF basketball player, transferred to UAF from Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. for the 2009-10 season. He led the team in scoring his first year with Alaska, and then spent the 2010-11 season smashing school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) records.
Throughout the year, West broke two UAF records that hadn’t been touched since the 1967-68 season: the single-game scoring record (West picked up 43 points against St. Martin’s on Jan. 20) and the season scoring average (27.2 points per game). Both records were initially set by Milo Griffin. West’s 43-point game landed him a spot in Sports Illustrated’s Feb. 7 issue.
West set three GNAC records this season, as well. He achieved 13 games this season with 30 plus points, seven consecutive games with 30 plus points, and two consecutive games with 40 plus points. He landed GNAC Player of the Week honors twice, and led the GNAC and NCAA Division II with 27.2 points per game.
All of West’s accomplishments earned him the honors of being the Ron Lenz National Player of the Year, a Daktronics First Team All-American, a 2011 Reese’s Division II College All-Star, and the 2010-11 NCAA Division II Player of the Year for men’s basketball.
At the reception for West, the majority of the UAF men’s basketball team was in attendance, as well as about 30 other friends and fans who wished to congratulate him for a fantastic season.
Tilmon Taylor, the president of the Fairbanks chapter of the NAACP, presented West with a ceremonial gold pan. “He’s a team player, and we felt it appropriate for the NAACP to recognize him,” Taylor said.
In his two years with the Nanooks, “you never heard [West] say ‘I’m the greatest,’” said UAF head coach Clemon Johnson. “It was always about the team for him.”
This was evident in West’s speech at the end of the evening. He thanked his teammates and asked the audience to give them a round of applause. “Thanks for giving me the chance,” he said. “I guess it’s time to move on now, but I will come back.”
“I’d like to thank Parrish West for allowing me the opportunity to coach him,” Johnson said. “You (West) put Fairbanks on the map for us.”