Parkinson powers Simpson through play

Parkinson powers Simpson through play

by Ashley Van Alstine

Junior Jason Parkinson is approaching a milestone; he’s scored nearly 1,000 points for the Storm. Per game, Parkinson averages 12.7 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Parkinson chose Simpson after Steve Ellens, a high school assistant at Parkinson’s high school – Horizon in Scottsdale, Ariz., came to be an assistant at Simpson. Ellens introduced him to the college.

Parkinson also learned about Simpson from Dirk Walker, a 2004 Simpson graduate and brother to Parkinson’s high school coach.

When it comes to his choice of school, Parkinson said that he absolutely feels that he made the right decision in coming to Simpson.

“The people at Simpson (are) what made me decide to come here,” Parkinson said. “My teammates (are) what I enjoy most about playing for the Storm.”

Bruce Wilson, men’s basketball coach and professor of physical education, said Parkinson fit in and had a circle of friends from the day he came to Simpson.

Sophomore Matt Gilbert is a teammate of Parkinson’s. Gilbert notes that there was an adjustment among Simpson players from within the state as soon as Parkinson joined the team.

“I feel that he didn’t have to adjust as a player in Iowa, I think Iowans had to adjust to Jason as a player from Arizona,” Gilbert said. “He’s a leader and many players on the team look up to him. He also brings some funny theatrical gestures and saying that everyone on the team seems to pick up on.”

Parkinson, a shooting guard, was a starter his first year at Simpson. Last year, Parkinson was named to the Second Team All-Conference.

Wilson also notes that Parkinson has changed significantly during his time at Simpson.

“I think that Jason has grown as a player in that he’s gotten more mature,” Wilson said. “His first year he started with four other seniors, and then last year it was more difficult for him because those seniors were done. Then people started looking at him to be the top guy, so last year he experienced some growing pains. But this year he’s really stepped up.”

Parkinson not only brings to the team his great ability to be a high scorer, he is also very skilled in creating plays and reading defenders.

“When our guys look at him they see an excellent shooter,” Wilson said. “He’s one of the top three-point shooters and an excellent free throw shooter.”

Every athlete seeks to find improvement in their game, even excellent players who have started from the time they step foot in college. Parkinson is no exception.

“My strengths that I bring to the team are my shooting ability and being able to get others involved,” Parkinson said. “However, over the years my defense has improved 100 percent.”