Photo provided
Sydney Parrish
Photo provided Sydney Parrish

A Cinderella story, and both of her gym shoes fit quite well. 

Sydney Parrish is living her own magical moment. 

There’s a pretty good chance that her carriage isn’t likely to turn into a pumpkin.

This extreme basketball talent with a strong work ethic has been known to be the first one in the gymnasium during basketball season most mornings before school even starts. 

But her crowning individual moment will have to wait until somewhere around this time of year next season. The Indiana Miss Basketball award is certainly within reach. 

Parrish has already savored her greatest team accomplishment, helping lead the Hamilton Southeastern to the 2019 IHSAA State Basketball Championship, the first for the Lady Royals program.

The 6-foot-2 junior was exuberant as one might expect as I observed from my up-close seat in front of the TV. 

And It was also good to see Coach Hupp smile after posting a 27-1 record en route to his first state championship in 15 years at the City of Fishers high school.

Coach Hupp called this group, most of whom have been together ever since Sydney was a freshman on the ‘Phenom Radar,’ a “special, truly special group.’’

The hoopla had a strong mix of young and older fans enjoying possibly their biggest high school moment in the Class 4A championship finale at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

There’s little doubt how Coach Hupp feels about his No. 1 player. Thank goodness she was always there leading the ladies. If ever there was a stellar high school young lady who you could say was the straw that stirred the big-iced tea drink, it was Sydney Parrish.

You have to look back to the summer before her freshman season when she was in the Fishers HS district. She played on a team with some girls in the HSE district. They decided to stay together and she enrolled at HSE, which has been a high school since 1967.
Good decision, I would say!

If you saw the Girls State Basketball Finals, you witnessed a player who simply took over the game in the second half while scoring 21 of her game-high 30 points. You saw a player who handled the ball in backcourt, and time and time again broke the press. 

You simply saw an individual performance that certainly belongs in the archives of girls high school basketball.

Parrish was like poetry in motion running the court. So quick, steady and determined: cunning as a cat and swift as a gazelle. 

Parrish next was honored with her selection to the Indiana Junior All-State core team, better known as the ‘top group of players.’ In addition to playing against the Senior Stars in an exhibition, Sydney will be on the Juniors squad that plays the Kentucky Junior girls in Jeffersonville on June 3.

Parrish was also named to the All-Indy Star first team, as well as to All-USA Central All-American team.

Then she was selected as the Indiana Gatorade Female Player of the Year. 

No small accomplishment. 

Whew, what a run for Sydddd!

Actually, that Gatorade award, which has been presented to the state’s top girls since 1986, usually goes to a senior.

Sydney became the sixth junior female in Indiana to receive it.

And you have to figure that she will be the front-runner for Miss Basketball! In fact, those other 5 juniors went on represent the Hoosier state as Miss Basketball as seniors.

Parrish averaged 21.0 ppg and was crowned Hoosier Crossroads Conference scoring champ while leading HSE to a 7-0 record and the HCC title this past season. She also averaged 6.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.0 blocked shots. She shot 51 percent from the field (58% on 2s and 39% on 3s).

Parrish could do it all. She also ranks No. 12 among guards nationally.

In three years as a starter, Parrish is 62-15 (wins/losses) overall. She scored 404 points as a freshman, 314 as a sophomore and 589 this season. As a sophomore, she missed several games due to a concussion.

No one I know has ever heard Sydney Parrish say she’s chasing records. Doubt there’s any reason to think otherwise now.

But this is a fact: The “Record Watch’’ will become prevalent early on next season.

Sydney has scored 1,307 career points. The HSE girls record holder with 1,374 is 2013 Indiana All-Star Taya Reimer, who played at Notre Dame and Michigan State.

The all-time HSE points record (boys and girls) belongs to 2017 Indiana All-Star Zach Gunn (1,660), and 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball Gary Harris.Harris, now a prominent member of the NBA Denver Nuggets, ranks No. 2 at HSE with 1,552 points.

Hopefully Parrish can stay healthy next season. 

If so, you never know… it could still be full steam ahead for her and the Lady Royals, who graduated 4 outstanding players.

In Sydney Parrish, Coach Hupp will have Indiana’s No. 1 player at the throttle.

Pretty nice place to start heading into the 2019-20 campaign.

Go Sydddd… and the Lady Royals!

-Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317-460-8018.