North Iberville student plays on top ten AAU hoop club

Tryve Brackin

Nicholaus Parker, a student at North Iberville Elementary School, recently completed in the 12 and Under AAU Basketball National Championships as a member of his dad’s Louisiana Bayou Flames hoop club.

Leonard Parker, Nicholaus’ dad, is a coach and teacher at Port Allen High, but this summer he joined with his son and young players from Iberville, West Baton Rouge Parish, Ascension Parish, and Mandeville area to guide the Bayou Flames to an eighth-place finish in the national tournament, held earlier this month in Hampton, Virginia.

The Bayou Flames posted an outstanding 7-1 record, but could only muster an eighth-place spot because their only loss was in a key bracket positioning. They fell by a mere two points to a ball club from North Carolina. The locally based team beat clubs from Georgia, Florida, and Washington, D.C. in pool play before being trimmed by the North Carolina club. They went on to beat teams in bracket play from West Virginia, Philadelphia, New York, and Indiana to close with their solid 7-1 mark.

“Player size was the only thing that kept us from advancing higher. We did not have a single player over five-foot, ten, but we played against teams with boys over six-foot in their lineups. Hopefully, we can find some players for next season that can give us added height in our lineup. If that happens, I can see us finishing higher next year at the tournament to be held in Memphis, Tennessee,” commented Coach Parker.

The Bayou Flames relied mostly on team quickness and defensive abilities. Nicholaus was a spark plug for the club in both those abilities as a key guard in the lineup. Along with his defensive skills, he averaged over ten rebounds a contest in the national tourney, an outstanding achievement for a 5-6 guard.

Parker said the Bayou Flames have progressed in a consistent fashion over the last three years of development. They finished 16th in the nation two years ago and then 11th last summer. This summer the local team posted a season record of 59-9 to go with their eighth-place national tourney finish.

Nicholaus attends North Iberville Elementary with his mom, Wyvetta Parker, who is the principal at NIHS. Coach Parker was the athletic director and head football coach at NIHS before moving on to Port Allen High a few years ago. Nicholaus’ older brother, Leonard, Jr. was a standout football defensive back for the Pelicans and an outstanding hurdler for the PAHS track team last spring.