Updated: Feb 2, 2019
By TASHAUN WALLACE
Rylie Parkhurst played softball and AAU basketball when her mother, Reggie, took her to see Tennessee All-American Candace Parker play in a basketball game. That was a defining moment for Rylie. “After the game I told my mom, this is what I wanted to do. And I'm going to play college basketball,” she said.
Rylie had a star-studded high school career in basketball (3-year captain) and track at Miamisburg, Ohio. She was chosen to play in the prestigious Ohio-Kentucky All-Star game.
Upstate plays a homecoming game Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Hodge Center versus Radford, tied with Hampton for first place in the Big South standings.
The Sports Journalism class conducted a question and answer exercise last week. Following are Rylie’s answers.
Q: What do you feel is the best aspect of your game?
A: “I would say I'm a shooter, I can get hot, but my best way to contribute is to communicate on the court.”
Q: What has been your best moment in a game?
A: “Last year we beat Stetson (69-64) at home and they beat us in the tournament before, so it was probably the best moment. It put us in the top half of the Atlantic Sun Conference.”
Q: Do you do anything differently to prepare for a game?
A: “Everyone has their different thing, some sit and listen to music before games, take naps. Some won’t talk, I get in the gym early to get shots up early before the game.”
Q: What do you do following a game? A: “Usually in the game when I make a mistake, I’ll tell it to the coaches like I messed up, I did wrong. So I usually watch film, re-watch a game that was broadcast and schedule individual sessions for film.”
Q. Is there a player that has influenced you?
A: I really like Sue Bird. I love the way she plays on the court and how she represents herself off the court. She is also big about social equality, so I try to be like that. But for every player it's just about focus and being you. You really can't be anyone else. You’ve got to be the best you that you can be.”
Q: Does working in the community inspire you?
A: When I go home over the summer, I will work at local camps, clinics and with Special Olympics. It’s a reminder why I stay positive.
Q: What do you feel is different playing basketball here versus in Ohio?
A: “Ohio is more fundamental basketball, it’s a big basketball state with some girls are All American. Women’s basketball is not like it is around SC.”
Q: Where do you see yourself after college?
A: “I would like to get a GA position somewhere or be a college basketball coach.”
Q: How do you balance being a student athlete?
A: Honestly, time management.
Q: What made you choose The University of South Carolina Upstate?
A: The community feel, opportunity to do something different, the team and the opportunity to be in the Atlantic Sun.
Q: If not basketball, what would you be doing?
A: I still would be playing a sport. Probably softball or track and field.
Malcolm Vanahnnegeyn, Nyaa Miller, Donncharaz Xiong
and Charlie Miller contributed to this report.
Rylie Parkhurst has her eyes locked onto a teammate during this offensive sequence.