Georgia Northwestern Restocking The Cats Den With Prep Stars

“Seated center is Georgia Northwestern signee Kiarra Parks. The Pepperell graduate is part of a six- person recruiting class helping rebuild the Lady Cats after making their first-ever appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament last season. Shown seated from left is Phil Ray, Pepperell High School Principal; Parks; and Crystal Ware, Mother. Shown standing from left is Jim Williams, Georgia Northwestern Head Women’s Basketball Coach; Judson Cox, Pepperell Head Girls Basketball Coach; and Robbie Nash, Georgia Northwestern Assistant Head Women’s Basketball Coach.”

(Lindale, Georgia) – With the loss of Georgia Northwestern point guard Mia Morrow, the Lady Cats have been working feverishly to keep their national run from just a few months ago heated up. Among the three standout guards GNTC has snagged from Georgia’s prep ranks is Pepperell’s Kiarra Parks.

The 5-foot-4 point guard led the Lady Dragons to a third place finish in GHSA’s Region 7-AA in the 2011-12 season. Averaging 24 points per game, Parks would earn all-region honors and a spot on the Tennessee/Georgia All-Star Game roster. Parks would lead all peach state scorers with 17 points in the event.

“I’m excited to be headed to Georgia Northwestern. It’s a good fit for me,” said Parks. “My mom even goes there. That’s going to be interesting.” Parks’ mom, Crystal Ware is set to graduate from GNTC this coming school year.

Her mother played basketball, softball, and track at Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Tennessee. Parks’ father, Chris Parks, was a prep standout while also attending Cleveland. He was a member of multiple all-region teams in basketball and football for the TSSAA powerhouse.

“Yeah, they were athletic. I’m going to work hard and make my way the best I can now,” said Parks. “I’m just really excited about going to college.” The recent Pepperell graduate held four different records in track for the Lady Dragons before giving that up to concentrate on one sport. The Lady Dragon guard would finish her career with 1,055 points; among the highest career marks on the hardwood in Pepperell history.

Her thousandth point would be shot during her most memorable game at Armuchee High School this past season. Parks would drain a three-pointer in the waning moments to force overtime on the road. “It was a big win for us,” said Parks. “I remember it was their senior night and it was a tough game. We worked hard and went home with a win.”

Parks is one of six Georgia Northwestern signees that Lady Cats Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Williams brought in during the off-season. Joining her this fall will be prep standout guards Alana Jones (Rockmart) and Alyssa Nichelson (Creekview). Also signing on for the 2012-13 season are forwards Mariah Price (Chattooga), Sierra Smith (Armuchee), and Terika Mostella (Cartersville).

“Kiarra brings solid experience from the backcourt,” said Williams of the All-Area and All-Region honoree. “This is a family committed to doing what it takes to succeed. Kiarra truly is carrying that torch now.”

Georgia Northwestern saw its 2011-12 season end this past March after making headlines on the national stage. The Lady Cats earned the NJCAA Region XVII title, as well as a birth into the NJCAA National Tournament. Less than a week after earning their first-ever national tourney spot, the Lady Cats fell on the road to the nation’s sixth-ranked team in Montgomery-Rockville (MD). A win would have landed Georgia Northwestern in its first-ever NJCAA Elite Eight appearance in school history.

Tryouts and open workouts for the 2012-13 Lady Cats are posted on GNTC.edu’s Athletics Page. For more information on Bobcats and Lady Cats Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or e-mail to dfoley@gntc.edu.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. Approximately 26,000 people benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making it the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fourth largest technical college in Georgia.

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