South Sevier superstar Race Parsons to compete in national 3-point shootout at Final Four

By Mitch Kunzler

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 4 2013 11:05 a.m. MDT

MONROE — Everything seems extremely ordinary and perhaps even a bit dull in the halls of South Sevier High School. A small school, South Sevier is definitely not where one would expect to find one of the greatest basketball players in Utah high school history.

Yet, South Sevier is home to Race Parsons, a 6-4, 175-pound shooting guard whose career is unrivaled in Utah over the last 20 years.

The Southern Utah University commit’s senior season was among the most impressive ever from a Utah high school player. He averaged 27 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2 steals per game, all while shooting a staggering 45 percent from beyond the arc. Opposing teams watched helplessly as Parsons canned 3-pointer, after 3-pointer — he averaged nearly 3.5 3-pointers per game.

Parsons also holds numerous Utah high school basketball records and accolades. He is fifth on Utah’s all-time scoring list (2,097 points); fifth on Utah’s all-time rebounding list (824 rebounds) — a feat not even 7-foot former NBA great Shawn Bradley accomplished — fourth on Utah’s all-time 3-point shot list (234 3-pointers made); a two-time 2A MVP, and a two-time 2A Utah state basketball champion.

Now Parsons is taking his game to a national stage. He was voted by fans through Facebook to compete in the American Family Insurance 3-Point contest that will take place on Saturday in Atlanta at the NCAA Final Four tournament.

Parsons competed against 16 players across the country in a vote for the wildcard spot in the contest that will take place on Saturday at noon MDT, and will air on CBS. The town of Monroe, the community and Parsons’ family and friends all rallied behind him to get the word out and vote him into the contest — and he was chosen. He said the support he received from the community was tremendous.

“I wasn’t expecting much, but I noticed that the further I went into it, and the further I made it, the more involved the community got, and the more involved people everywhere got,” Parsons said. “It was really an eye-opener to me that if a small community wants to support a kid, or wants the best for someone, then they will do whatever it takes to get them there.”

Parsons’ selection to the contest is a testament and a compliment to his record-setting career and impressive skill set — one that frustrated opposing coaches and inspired his community.

"He was just a hard matchup," Richfield head coach Rand Janes said, "You put a smaller, quicker kid on him, he can go down and post him up, and take advantage of his size. If you put a taller, slower guy on him, he could step back outside and hurt you that way. ... We just tried to slow him down as best as we could, and every once in a while it would be effective, but most of the time it wouldn’t."

Parsons regularly scored 30 to 40 points in high school competition, and as he did so he began approaching South Sevier’s scoring records. The records were something that the Parsons family never really contemplated.

"We didn’t ever really think about it beforehand, and we were very careful that it was never talked about around Race, because we didn’t want to jinx him," Race’s mother Kim Parsons said. "We didn’t want him to feel like he always needed to score, I mean, he had to score in order for us to win, but we didn’t want him worrying about records or anything like that."

Nevertheless, midway through his senior season, he broke South Sevier High School's all-time scoring record during a game held at Canyon View High School. The previous record was set by his grandfather, Lynn Parsons, and stood for 48 years.