With the regular season now wrapped and the Pac-12’s seniors having played their final home games, we’re taking a tour across the conference and bidding this group of seniors farewell.
Brad Hill has been a Wildcat fan and close friend since the beginning of time and contributes to PacHoops always.
As fans we don’t remember career averages, point totals, assist to turnover ratios, or even records. Over time, what really stands out in our memory are the players. Of course some of the best players to come through the U of A had great numbers worthy of memory, but some of the most memorable players didn’t have great numbers. Did you know that Eugene Edgerson averaged less than 5 points a game during his career? Probably not. Do you remember Gene’s afro, knee pads, and the energy he brought into every minute he played? Definitely.
Kevin Parrom is a memorable player. His numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, but they are solid—he is quietly shooting 41% from behind the arc this year. However, it’s not the numbers that make Kevin Parrom a memorable Wildcat. Fans will remember Kevin Parrom for his toughness on (and off) the court, his courage and perseverance, and the undeniable impact he had on every game he played.
Kevin Parrom will always be remembered for announcing the beginning of the Sean Miller era of Arizona Basketball. Fans have come to expect Miller’s teams to be typified by hard nosed, gritty, and defensive-minded basketball players. Kevin Parrom announced that style of play on January 23, 2010. On that date, Wildcat fans will remember Parrom racing down the court to stop the Sun Devil’s Ty Abbot from making an easy dunk and igniting a raucous Wells Fargo Arena crowd. Kevin leapt up, reached for the ball, and fouled Ty Abbot—hard.
Parrom wasn’t trying to injure Abbot, but he was going to make sure he earned those points. Parrom later tweeted: “No easy buckets.” Does anything encapsulate the Sean Miller mantra more succinctly or accurately? If I had to pick a phrase to put above the door in the Wildcat’s locker room it would be: “No Easy Buckets.”
But fans also admired Parrom for his courage and perseverance. His junior season has been well documented: in one year he lost his grandmother and mother to cancer, was sidelined by a gunshot wound, and then just when he was getting back to full strength broke his foot. Fans’ hearts and support poured out to this kid, and it showed. When he entered a game for the first time after coming back from the shooting, the crowd stood and cheered as loudly as they had for any victory. When Parrom was taken out of the game after 18 minutes, six points, four rebounds, and two assists Sean Miller hugged him like you hug your children. It was a moment as indelible as any in the collective memory of Wildcat fans.
My dad told me that one Tucson afternoon a couple weeks ago he had no plans to go to the game against WSU, but after reading an article in SI about Parrom, he said to himself, “I have to go support this guy!” My dad went, Kevin Parrom hit 5 three-point buckets—that’s what fans remember.