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Athlete of the Season: Jaide Parke
Carey, ID ( KMVT - TV / KTWT - TV ) You could call Jaide Parke a stat sheet stuffer.
The Carey high school basketball star averaged a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds per game this season for the Panthers, but she says the most memorable moments this year came towards the end of the season.
"This senior season was really special, and I'm really proud of what we did at state," she said. "Being [the] first district champions ever—that's something that's really neat, and I'm proud of."
Another stat she should be proud of her?
Parke shot 44 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range to lead her team in both stats, and when she was in the zone, she was locked in.
"A lot of times you don't think. You're just, I don't know, you're open, you see it, and you just go,” she said. “You can't think twice about [shooting] because when you hesitate, that's when you miss."
"I would spend hours in the gym, so my mom would just come with me, and we would shoot and shoot and shoot so it definitely took a lot of practice," Parke said.
Her hot shooting also gave her the opportunity to break her school's scoring record, but to do so she would have to compete with someone very close to her—her older sister.
"She was telling me, 'Jaide, I want you to go break my record. I want you to do it.' When I started getting close, each game she would just call me—'how close are you? Did you break it?' When I was finally able to say, 'Yeah, I broke it,' she was really excited for me,” Parke said.
Once the Panthers got to the state tournament, things got even better for the senior. Even though Carey lost in its opening game, Parke set three state records throughout tournament play.
"I [was] so excited, I'm not gonna lie,” she said when she found out about the records. “I was really excited, and [when] my mom told me that, I kind of flipped out a little bit."
While her season is over, Jaide Parke still has another fierce competition she's currently battling in.
"My cousin Morgan and I, we're tied for the spot for valedictorian right now so that's what we're going for and hopefully we can get there. We'd like to be co–valedictorians, that would be fun," she said.
While graduating at the top of her class is a possibility, so is continuing her career on the court.
"I'm going to go to college at BYU [next year], so we'll kind of see what happens there. I'm not 100 percent sure yet [about playing]."
The senior may still be deciding on the future of her basketball career, but she had no problem putting the smaller Magic Valley schools on the map.
"I think a lot of the time little schools get overlooked, and so it was fun to be able to come and represent and show them what we can do too,” she said.
“The big schools are great, but a lot of times the little schools are right there with them."