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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Parrom’s story a lesson to all

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Colin Darland
Arizona junior forward Kevin Parrom looks on as the Wildcats trail the Bucknell Bison late in the second half of the Wildcats’ first round NIT loss to the Bucknell Bison in McKale Center on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. Parrom was injured earlier in the season after being shot at his father’s home in the Bronx, New York. Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat

The trials and tribulations of last season are over for Arizona senior Kevin Parrom, at least in the sense that he is at 100 percent physically and mentally.

What Parrom went through, with the loss of both his mother and grandmother, being shot in the leg while visiting family and friends in his native New York and eventually suffering a season-ending broken foot, would be enough to leave anyone searching for answers, frustrated and questioning why it happened.

Parrom, however, handled his ordeals with dignity and positivity.

That’s why when he ran out of the tunnel for the Red-Blue game Sunday afternoon, although his skill set may not figure into the preliminary starting rotation and he may not be the highest profile player on a team full of potential all-stars, a sold-out crowd of 14,365 at McKale Center gave their loudest cheers for Parrom.

It was an amazing sight to see an entire program, city and fanbase behind one player not solely for his talents.

Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in a press conference that he regrets not redshirting Parrom last year, and Parrom responded at media day by saying that he needed to be able to play basketball in order to deal with what was going on in his life.

Parrom has taught us all a valuable lesson in poise and composure, and what it truly means to Bear Down. He dug deep and persevered through something outside of his control.

We’ve seen athletes time and time again who have had their struggles and have come back strong — but not like Parrom.

Athletes have lost the two most influential women in his life around the same time, like Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who lost his grandmother and girlfriend in the same week.

We’ve seen athletes come back from season-ending injuries, including NBA Chicago Bulls player Derrick Rose, who has an entire line of commercials hashtagged #TheReturn.

Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg while at a nightclub and eventually went to prison, played again in the NFL last season, and everyone knows the story of Mike Vick.

Add all of that together, amid the pressures of an Arizona basketball season, and you loosely have Parrom’s situation. It would have been a surprise to no one if Parrom had quit the team, taken time off or returned home for good to mourn and recuperate.

Instead, a fire has burned inside Parrom since losing basketball temporarily in January. He has come back stronger than ever according to both Parrom and Miller.

“It’s part of my process,” Parrom said after posting 17 points in the Red-Blue game. “I was just speechless when I ran out there. It was amazing hearing that cheer from the crowd and seeing my teammates. It was a special moment for me.”

– Cameron Moon is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu or via Twitter
@MoonCameron20.

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