Getting to know your Rams: Jaylin Parker: Small guard, big impact

Parker is a smaller guard that uses his shot and playmaking ability to make a difference on the court.

Getting to know your Rams: Jaylin Parker: Small guard, big impact
October 13
13:51 2021

Jaylin Parker (5’7” 150 lbs.)

– Point guard (sophomore)

– Rolesville High School graduate (2018)

– Major: Sports management

Jaylin Parker has always been one of the smallest players on the court, but that has not stopped him from playing like one of the biggest. At 5 foot 7 inches, the Rams’ point guard is poised to have a breakout season.

Parker is from the Raleigh area and says basketball was always his first love. He attempted to play other sports, but realized early on that he was not very good at them and stuck with basketball. Basketball didn’t come easy to Parker either, so he worked on his game to make sure his size didn’t become a negative.

“Basketball kind of just came natural, so I feel like just hard work helped me excel in basketball,” said Parker. “Of course, it’s still not easy; you know I have to find different ways to be good at it, but with hard work, obviously that’s the main thing.”

Parker wasn’t highly recruited coming out of high school. He knew he had the talent and skill to play on the next level, he was just waiting for the opportunity to show what he could do.

“I always knew I was talented in basketball, but you know how it is, not everyone is going to believe in you,” he said about recruitment. “I didn’t really have too many people tell me, in fact I had more people tell me it wasn’t going to happen and that it was going to be high school and that’s it.  

“Really once colleges finally started taking notice, which was real late, then I thought I could do it and that didn’t happen until really late.”

Parker says it was frustrating not getting the attention he felt he deserved during his recruitment. He says colleges would show interest, but would not offer him a scholarship, which was good and bad in his book. He felt since colleges were interested in him, that meant he was good enough to play on the next level, but it was heartbreaking for them not to offer a scholarship at the same time.

“It made me keep going, because I knew in a way people were noticing, but it’s just going to take the right person to give me the opportunity and a chance,” he said.

Out of high school, Parker decided to go to a prep school after graduation from Rolesville, after urging from his mother to keep his dream alive. While there, that’s when Winston-Salem State came into the picture and finally offered him a scholarship. He was eager for the chance to show what he could do on the collegiate level.

“Once they gave me the opportunity, that’s all I needed,” Parker stated. “I knew that I was going to have to work for it, still being this size, so I knew nothing will come easy. At the end of the day, I know I can play, so I felt like if I continue to work hard, along with my talent, eventually it would show.”

Parker has to find different ways to stand out on the court and make his presence felt. He says his jump shot is his most effective weapon on the floor and he also enjoys facilitating his teammates to get them involved in the game as well.

Playing limited minutes his freshman year was good for Parker, because he felt he learned a lot. He wants to prove to himself that he can play with anyone and show the people of Winston that he is the guy to lead the Rams on the court. He feels with the collection of talent they have on the team, he can be that piece that assists in the Rams winning another CIAA championship.

“I feel like this team has a lot of potential, from the guards to the bigs,” he said. “I feel like we are deep, and we have great coaches too. It’s very early, but just listening to coaches and applying all of the things they see, I think we can go very far. I can’t guarantee a championship, but I feel like we have a lot of potential if we bring together all the pieces and execute what coach says.”

Off the court, Parker enjoys spending time with family. He says family is very important to him and besides playing or working on his game, he would prefer being around those he loves.

“I love family time and for the most part it’s really straight basketball, but when I’m not playing basketball, I just hang with family, maybe play the game here and there,” he continued.

The competition on the college level was exactly what Parker anticipated. Even at his size, Parker still could have his way on the court at the high school level, but he knew that wouldn’t be the case in college.

“In high school, of course I was still small, but in a way my talent still was – not saying it in a cocky way – but I could still do what I wanted on the court,” he said. “Once I got to Winston, it was way better athletes and way taller people, so it was a big jump and way faster than high school.

“Being here for those years, I kind of adjusted to it better. After my freshman year, I saw it in guys like Rob Colon. You could see the difference between high school competition and college from day one.”

It didn’t take long for Parker to realize that he was good enough to play on this level. He says there were some jitters at first, but was able to adjust very quickly.

Parker is a sports management major and would like to pursue a career in marketing, preferably in the sport of basketball. He would love to play basketball professionally, but knows he has to take care of business off the court just in case that doesn’t happen.

Playing against rival opponents in hostile environments is something Parker enjoys. He says seeing the crowds root against them and cheer their team on gives him energy to play better.

“It’s crazy, but that’s the main reason why I came to Winston, so of course you get nervous in a way, but not really, because that’s what you’ve always dreamed of, you’ve dreamed of playing against those big crowds in those big games,” Parker said about playing in big games. “As a kid that’s what you’ve always dreamed of, so when the ball gets tipped, you feel like it’s time.”

The Rams were the 2020 CIAA tournament champions and Parker feels they have what it takes to win it again. Parker is in line to be the starting point guard, but says if that doesn’t happen, he will prepare himself for whatever role they need him for.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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