8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 8, 1994
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Which NCAA school has supplied the most players ever to the
United States Olympic hockey team?
Parks takes over leadership role for Blue Devils0
By JEEMY EVIN
By JEREMY LEVINE
The Duke Chronicle
Duke basketball coach Mike1
Krzyzewski will be quick to point out
that players like Christian LaettnerI
Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill don't
come around too often.
Each was an NBA lottery pick, an
All-American and a part of the Dukej
men's basketball program. But for
Krzyzewski, perhaps more importanta
than their accolades is that when se-l
nior year came around, each of those
players glided into a leadership role
with the same skill and grace they
demonstrated on the hardwood.
But that trio of Blue Devil heroes is
gone, the two conspicuous banners left
hanging from the ceiling of Cameron 1
Indoor Stadium. So who is Duke look-
ing up to (literally and figuratively) as
the leader of its 1994-95 team?s
Enter Cherokee Parks.s
During his first three seasons at
Duke, the 6-foot-l senior center
played in the shadows of greatness.
But this year, the Blue Devils, and
probably mostof their opponents, will
be focusing on Parks.
"It's actually kind of easy going
into it," Parks said. "We've always
had the seniors he the captains. That's
something I've had to look forward to
going into my senior year, so that
kind of made it an easy transition."
Over the last few seasons, the de-
fining characteristics of Duke's lead-
ers have fallen all over the spectrum.
Laettner was known as a very vocal,
sometimes overbearing captain.
Hurley and Hill, on the other hand,
tended to lead by example.
"I think I'm kind of a little bit of
both," Parks said. "I've started to be-
come a little bit more vocal, but it's
easy because we have a young team.
They're still trying to learn and get a
feel for everything, so that's making
it easy because I'm mot the kind of
player like Christian that's going to
come out and say things all game."
Becoming the team's leader and
motivator has been a bit of an adjust-
ment for Parks, who didn't have the
on-court reputation of a talker during
his first few seasons. With a nick-
name like "Chief," the big man might
be expected to be a natural leader, but
he was trying to fit in as just another
member of the team.
Producing solid numbers will become
increasingly harder for Parks, because
teams will focus defensively on stopping
him inside. He will also command the
added respect that goes hand-in-hand with
being a preseason All-American on the
No.8 team in the country.
"(Thehonor) feels good," Parks said.
"It's nice, but the (awards) that really
M LOW SARVU
to calliing home
a fantastic alternative
Hey, it isn't all that bad! We're talking weekends, vacations and
semester breaks. Nothing to interfere with that all-important G.P.A.
We have all kinds of positions available. Right now. Clerical.
Secretarial. Light industrial. Computer-related. Technical support.
Technicians. Engineering. You name it.
In addition to pocketing some extra cash, you'll also be getting a
taste of the real world. Picking up some valuable experience. And
laying some groundwork for graduation or a great summer job
count are the ones after the season."
ForParks to be named an All-Ameri-
can at the end of the season, he will have
to step into a bigger role this year for
Duke by adapting in much the same
fashion Hill did last year. Krzyzewski
said he expects Parks to take the most
shots and demand more complemen-
tary roles of his teammates.
"Cherokee likes to be like every-
body," Krzyzewski said. "I'm sure,
on campus, Cherokee got to be real
well-liked because he's aregular guy.
He's got to understand he's not a
regular guy on the basketball court."
Perhaps the biggest problem Parks
poses for opposing squads is that not
only can he rebound, block shots and
pound inside for easy layins and
dunks, but he's also an excellent free-
throw shooter. Teams with a half a
dozen seven-footers on the roster, such
as North Carolina, won't be able to
stop Parks by inserting a slew of big
men simply to foul him.
"I don't know what big guys in the
country are as versatile as Cherokee,"
assistant coach Pete Gaudet said.
In his senior season, while the
Blue Devils pursue another NCAA
tournament run, Parks will have a
little extra support - in the stands.
His mother Deborah Parks, sold her
Kansas City house and moved to
Durham to witness, firsthand, Parks'
final season in a Duke uniform.
"It wasn't a big move for her at all, so
shejustpacked up and came down for the
year," Parks said. "She comes to all the
practices. It's nice to have her around."
So all eyes, even those of his own
mother, will be focused on the "Chief'
as he leads the Blue Devils through
what is likely to be an exciting and
"I'mjustexcited to get going now,'
Parks said. "It'll be a bumpy ride."
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