Former Biloxi basketball star Zach Parker has earned his shot to continue his career at a four-year institution.
Parker, who played the last two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, signed this week with Eastern New Mexico, a Division II program.
The 6-foot-2 sharp shooter will bring his scorer's mentality to the Lone Star Conference.
“It's kind of a dream come true,” Parker said. “It's been a long process to get there.”
Never miss a local story.
The ENMU staff didn't start communicating with Parker until about three weeks ago, but he liked what he heard from second-year head coach Tres Segler.
“He was pretty much telling me he was looking at signing a power forward before he got to me,” Parker said. “He said he was glad I didn't sign because he really wanted me. He's a good coach. He's been telling me about the team and how I fit in.”
Parker liked how Segler has been around top talent like Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin when he was a graduate assistant at Texas.
ENMU competes in the Lone Star Conference, which features mostly Texas programs like West Texas A&M and Angelo State. The Greyhounds finished 13-15 overall and 7-11 in conference play in Segler's first season.
Parker averaged 17 points this season for MGCCC, hitting 42.3 percent of his 3-pointers.
“(Segler) really likes me at the two,” Parker said. “He wanted a shooting guard that shoots 45 percent on 3-pointers. I'll play the one or two, be a combo guard.”
ENMU is located in the small town of Portales, which is home to about 12,000 residents.
Parker will be over 1,000 miles from home, but he sees that as a positive.
“My family is really happy right now,” he said. “They've been waiting on this for the longest. They want me to go to New Mexico, get away from home and do my work.”
Parker was twice named to the Sun Herald All-South Mississippi team at Biloxi, averaging 17.6 points a game as a senior.