Hoop dreams not over for Parchment

Hannah Parchment may be down but she is not out of chances to further her basketball dreams. 

Parchment, 16, recently suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the Walsingham Academy Trojans in Williamsburg, Virginia. The early prognosis is the partial tear will sideline Parchment for weeks, rather than months, with the prodigy expected to return to the court next month. 

Redver Ebanks coached Parchment for years through her involvement with the Women of Valor club and various women’s teams. Ebanks said she dodged a serious blow. 

“It might heal on its own as she has to rest for four weeks,” Ebanks said. “It it doesn’t heal on its own, then surgery might be needed. From what I understand, in terms of her career, Hannah is still quite young and a number of schools are looking at her right now. With the proper brace worn to play, one option she has is to play, finish off the season and possibly leave to another school. 

“If she does the surgery, she can redshirt for a year. Then the following year, she can be activated. It does dampen her a bit because you have to wonder will a school want her with the injury. But that might or might not happen so all is not lost.” 

Parchment initially suffered the injury before the Christmas holidays in her school’s 19-point thrashing of Christ Chapel Academy. The statistics show Parchment was having a great campaign prior to hurting her knee. She was sixth in scoring for the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, averaging 15.9 points per game. As a result, her school had a 9-5 record. 

For many, Parchment’s injury reflects negatively on Cayman’s investment in her potential. She moved to Walsingham Academy after initially going to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Much of her school funding was provided by the Young Nation Builders Scholarship Fund, the brainchild of former premier McKeeva Bush. Parchment received just less than US$70,000 for the 2012/13 academic year to attend IMG. The fund was then cut by some $40,000, forcing Parchment to return to Cayman to attend classes at Triple C school before getting accepted to the Virginia institution. With her father Richard being a political advisor to Bush and the current government instituting the fund’s reduction, Parchment has become the face of another scandal involving Cayman’s former leader.  

Interestingly, Parchment was not the only local basketball player to go abroad on government funding. La-Torae Nixon, 16, got more than $60,000 to attend IMG through the Young Nation Builders Fund and has excelled, leading her school to tournament titles in Chicago, Illinois and Orlando, Florida. 

It should also be noted that another Caymanian player, April Ebanks, joined Parchment in Virginia this month. She is also a product of the Women of Valor organization and the instruction of Redver Ebanks.  

Redver Ebanks said April Ebanks is attending the school without public funding. “Government is not involved with it,” he said. “She got financial assistance from the school, the school has a financial assistance program. She’s not on a scholarship and she’s not being privately funded either.” 

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Hannah Parchment, with the ball, has played against the likes of Kacie Ramos in Cayman.

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