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Triple threat athlete in school's first Hall of Fame class
Greg Parker, a retired Kingman educator and three-sport star at San Manuel High School, has been inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
1/23/2013 6:01:00 AM
It took nearly 50 years, but Greg Parker finally made The Hall.
Parker, 66, a retired longtime Kingman Unified School District administrator, on Friday was inducted into the San Manuel High School Hall of Fame - and he did so as a star in three sports.
San Manuel is a small town situated about 45 miles northeast of Tucson in Pinal County.
"Back then that is what we did," he said. "We played sports. There was nothing else to do."
"It was an honor," Parker said Monday while sitting with a buddy in a fishing boat somewhere in the middle of Lake Havasu.
"There were four of us inductees and this was the first class of San Manuel's Hall of Fame."
Parker's selection must have been a no-brainer for the committee. His athletic prowess perhaps shone brighter than did the copper they used to mine in the nearby hills.
Parker said he was the first athlete in the state to get invited to play in three all-star games, all in the same year, 1965, and in three sports - football, basketball and baseball.
"That was the best honor I ever had. "Back in those days, football and basketball were played at the same time, so I didn't play in the football all-star game. I had to make a decision. So I played in the basketball game in Flagstaff and we played baseball in Phoenix."
Those three all-star appointments in a single year "were my best achievement," he said. "We only had one all-star team for each sport in the state."
Parker lettered all four years as the second basemen for the Miners' baseball team, and lettered in varsity basketball and football for three years.
In addition to winning 11 varsity letters out of a possible 12 - he also lettered in track his senior year - Parker won a bevy of awards, including Best All-Round Athlete, to go along with recognition as one of the best quarterbacks, defensive safeties, basketball guards and baseball infielders in the state.
Just don't ask him what his batting average was, how many assists he had in a basketball season or how many touchdowns he threw.
"You're testing me," he said with a chuckle when asked for statistics. "My mom kept a scrapbook if that'll help."
He does recall winning the baseball state championship his sophomore year and playing in another one his senior year. His basketball team also took state in 1965.
After high school, Parker played baseball for two years at Cochise Community College, where he was a two-year letterman and was named to the first team Arizona Junior College Athletic Conference.
He would go on to letter during his one year at the University of Iowa, but then he took off a semester to earn some money when Uncle Sam came calling.
"I was drafted," he said. Not by the Chicago Cubs, a team that scouted the high school phenom, but by the Army.
Stationed in Germany as a medic, Parker said he played for the Berlin Bears.
After his service ended, Parker earned his degree in physical education at the University of Utah and later his master's degree in educational administration from the University of Arizona.
His first job was at his alma mater, San Manuel, where he taught for three years. He then moved on to Bisbee as an assistant principal, but Parker spent the bulk of his career in Kingman starting in 1984.
He finished his career six years ago as director of human resources, but he also held posts as a principal and a varsity golf coach and, fittingly, as athletic director.
He and his wife Betsy raised two sons, KHS alumni Josh and Adam.
His advice for young athletes is to try all sports. Don't burn out playing one year-round.
The message is as inspirational as it is simple: "Widen your life experience and give every sport a shot. If you like it, keep playing. And never give up on your dreams."
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