CLASS OF: 2004
SCHOOL: Naperville Central HS, IL
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT: 6'3
POSITION: Power Forward
02-03 RATINGS: #1 (BS)
01-02 RATINGS: #1 (BS)
ACADEMICS: Honor roll student
STATUS: Mutual Interest
AAU TEAM: Philadelphia Belles
It is hard to write a player profile that is accurate for any more than a few games
when you talk about a player like Candace Parker. Parker is one of the nation's best
players, a 6'3 forward from Naperville Central in Illinois. An all-american from her
earliest high school days, Parker is not a stranger to the limelight. An athletic
specimen from a family strong in basketball, Parker could surpass them all by the
time she hangs up her sneakers. She has already beaten her two brothers in one
respect. It took them until their junior years in high school to dunk a basketball.
Parker did it halfway through her sophomore year, and made history by being only
the second high school girls player to dunk in a game.
Candace is a fourth-generation basketball player in the family. Her great-grandfather
played at Langston University, and her grandmother was a high school player in
Oklahoma. Her father, Larry Parker, played at Iowa in 1972-76. Candace's brother Marcus is
currently a medical student in Maryland, and her brother Anthony plays professionally
in Israel after starring at Bradley with brief NBA stops in Orlando and Philadelphia.
The summer before her junior year found her in the spotlight nationally and internationally.
After being chosen as an invitee to the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis, she toured
with the Philadelphia Belles Select AAU team and defeated the French 1985 National Team in
the finals of the 13th annual Reze International Cadet Tournament in France. Parker scored
17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the championship game, and averaged a double-double
for the tournament. Named the tournament MVP, Parker averaged 24.2 points and 13.5 rebounds
on 54-percent shooting. Her biggest game came against the Russia National Team when Parker
scored 34 points and grabbed 20 rebounds.
As a sophomore, Parker led her team in average points per game (22.0), average rebounds
per game (15.0), in blocks (104) and field-goal percentage (52.7), while finishing second
in steals (118). This all came after a grueling 39-match volleyball season, during which
she earned all-city first-team honors with 278 kills, 117 blocks, a .497 hitting percentage
and .600 kill percentage as middle hitter for the Redhawks. Candace made Illinois high school
history by being the first girl to dunk during a game. She would later dunk again. In the
same game, she pulled down 34 rebounds, the 4th best rebounding effort in the history of
Illinois state basketball. Naperville Central finished the seaosn 28-3. Parker was also
named the Gaterade Illinois Player-of-the-Year.
As a freshman, Parker led the team in scoring and rebounding in 28 of 32 games, with a
game high of 32 points. She averaged 20.8 points and 11 rebounds, and her 273 made field
goals for the 2000-01 season ranks 24th all-time in the state of Illinois. Parker also
plays volleyball where she is a middle blocker on a team that has been ranked nationally.
Candace finished 16th in the voting for the Illinois Ms. Basketball Award as a freshman.
She garnered two first place votes, seven second place votes, and 10 third place votes to
finish with 41 total. Rutgers signee Cappie Poindexter had more than 700 votes to run away
with the award. Candace finished with more votes than Barrington's Lindsay Richards,
Purdue's own Emily Heikes, and Erin Lawless of Fenwick, considered then to be one of the
top players in the country. PLAYER NEWS
08-05-02...Candace Parker was a unanimous choice for All-Camp honors by the three Old
Gold Free Press writers attending the 2002 Nike All-American Camp. For a look at our
impressions, check out our Nike scouting report.
02-23-02...Postseaosn Update: Season over. No. 2 Benet upset No. 1 Naperville Central,
51-41 at Naperville. Candace Parker was limited in the third and fourth quarters due
to foul trouble, and eventually fouled out of the game with less than two minutes
remaining. She finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots on the
evening, as Naperville Central finished the season with a record of 28-3.
02-20-02...Postseason Update: Next game: 2/21 vs. Benet Academy at Benet Academy.
Parker dunked for the second time this season in the 44-27 win over Glenbard North.
She ended the game with 11 points.
02-18-02...Candace Parker has been named to the Chicago Sun-Times all-area team. Parker
came close to being named the MVP, an award instead won by Johanna Solverson. Parker is
at the head of a sophomore class that is being touted as Illinois' best class in years.
Other sophomores on the all-area team include Fenwick guard Kristin Heidloff, Marian
Catholic center Lauren Lacey, Trinity forward Caprice Smith and Neuqua Valley forward
02-17-02...Postseason Update: Next game: 2/18 vs. Glenbard North at Benet Academy.
Wheaton North has something their 2-22 record does not show. They have met Naperville
Central twice this year, and both times have held all-american Candace Parker to only
eight points. A bittersweet accomplishment, as they have lost both games. Naperville
beat Wheaton North 66-27, then moved on to beat Wheaton-Warrenville South 55-29 on
Thursday. Parker scored 29 in the win.
01-20-02...At the McDonalds Girls Prep Classic in Chicago...Naperville Central's Candace
Parker scored 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds against Wisconsin's No. 1 team
Janesville Parker HS. The Parker of the Janesville variety beat the Parker of the
Candace variety, 61-46. Duke recruit Mistie Bass had 17 points and 12 boards.
01-04-02...Sophomore Candace Parker continues to assault high school records. After being
only the second high school girls player to dunk during a game on December 27th, Parker
scored her 1,000th point in a 52-31 win over 11-3 Glenbard North. She also pulled down 34
rebounds in the game, the fourth-best rebounding effort in Illinois state history.
11-19-01...No.12 Naperville Central beat Elgin 59-37 behind 25 points from Candace Parker.
11-15-01...Blue Star has their newest rankings out. Missy Taylor is the highest rated
verballed Purdue recruit on the "seniors only" list, at #61. Others of interest among the
100 listed...Sabrina Keys #66, Ashley Mays #73, and Sharika Webb #84. Looking at the list
of the top 80 players regardless of class, Candace Parker ranks #15 as the top sophomore
in the nation, and Katie Gearlds ranks #32 as the 7th best junior in the nation. Reicina
Russell ranks 68th overall, and is the 17th best junior on the list.
10-28-01...The latest Street & Smith all-american teams have been released. Wilnett
Crockett, visiting Purdue this weekend, is the highest honored prospect on the list.
Crockett made the Street & Smith third team, while sophomore Candace Parker of Naperville
Central (IL) made the fifth team.
05-20-01...Three names mentioning Purdue appear on USA Today's list of top girls
underclassmen, one from each of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 classes. Barrington (IL) guard
Lindsay Richards is listed as one of the eight top junior players, while Beech Grove (IN)
wing Katie Gearlds is strengthening her reputation as one of the top players in the class
of 2003. Keep and eye on a class of 2004 player Purdue is also all over, Naperville
Central's (IL) 6'3 Candace Parker.
Scouting report from Capri Small and Bob Sternvogel at the 2002 Nike Camp..."
College coaches are, by and large, a hard lot to impress. So when an athlete
makes representatives of so many top staffs go "Ooh!" and "Wow!", she obviously
has something. Candace, who has hang time on her hang time, gives off an air of
feeling entitled to the paint. She elevates so effortlessly that it's easy to
overlook how high off the floor she gets. At least once, she leapt, caught a pass,
turned around while still in mid-air, and scored. Cat-quick, she can make a
breathtaking cut to get into position to receive a pass, then catch and shoot the
ball before any opposing defender can react. Candace can also legitimately guard
the speediest of perimeter players. She needs a bit more muscle, grace, and overall
consistency before she can be said to have surpassed Brittany Hunter. Still,
Candace's infinite "upside" makes it easy to see why she's so coveted by so many.
She said that this was her second Nike Camp, and that she enjoyed the experience
more in 2002 because she knew what to expect. Among the personal goals she has set
for herself are "to play with great heart and effort at all times" and "to develop
a 'take no prisoners' attitude on the court". She hasn't thought much about
college, but plans to start examining her options this fall." (August 5, 2002)
Steve Valiant at the 2001 Nike Camp..."Extremely fast for her size, she could
shoot all over the floor including a few pull-up 3 point shots. She had the vision
to make a few passes after penetrating from the wing." (July 21, 2001)
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