TCI: Let’s take a look back now. Obviously Kyle made the decision to leave high school early and enroll at Clemson and played baseball that first year. Things would be a lot different had he graduated with his class as he would still have another year of baseball. As you look back on his Clemson career how do you feel about the decision?
Mrs. Parker: “It was a great decision. It was Kyle’s decision. People ask us if it was hard with your oldest child leaving to go to college. We were unlike a lot of families in that we didn’t have that whole summer to prepare because he had finished up high school football and they had gone late into the playoffs, and then he played in the Under-Armour game. So we had like a week to prepare. We came back from the Under-Armour game and he said I am going to go early. We knew before because we had to make sure all of his academics were ready for him to leave. So he left early and it was tough because nobody else was with him. Xavier Brewer who was from his high school and was coming, he wasn’t coming until the fall. So it was tough. He came up and he always knew he wanted to do both. But when he got here and saw that baseball schedule and saw when football started again. Just like all kids do when they leave home. He was calling and saying I don’t think I’m going to do this. We were like yes buddy you will be alright. We said we will come visit and that kind of thing, but it was tough. He is so blessed and so thankful that he did do both and that it has worked so well.“
Mr. Parker: “I don’t know if I’ve said this enough. I think the blessing really falls with Jack and Dabo both. To have a program where coaches are so much in each other’s court that they are willing to sacrifice and make provisions so that athletes that have those abilities will get the opportunity. I hope that Kyle’s been a guy that can set a platform for other guys that can come in and prove that you can do that. But it really starts with those guys. If they are not willing to do that. If there not willing to extend themselves then it makes it very difficult no matter how gifted a kid is to be able to go through and work hard and have the ability to play. It is something that Dabo and Jack both did for Kyle. They both said if you work hard and you perform then you will play. I have seen other programs where they say you may be the most gifted and you may have worked the hardest, but you weren’t here all the time so we aren’t going to give you that opportunity. You can only control what you can control. You have to give it your best and perform when you have the opportunities. That is just a tribute to Dabo and to Jack both.”
TCI: We have done a lot of coverage on TheClemsonInsider.com about the charity work you guys have done in Alaska and with the Power Cross group in Statesville. What are your plans for the summer? Are we going to have another camp up there? Is Kyle going to go from Omaha right to Statesville to work a camp?
Mrs. Parker: “That would be awesome. I vote on that one.”
Mr. Parker: “As we get the vacuum cleaner going in here. We have really been working with the guys at Power Cross a lot. I have been up there twice already this year. We have kind of have a focus this year that we are going to try to take a small group of guys and disciple them to make a difference in their life as opposed to being more evangelistic and getting 100 to 200 kids. We have a group of kids and it is our goal to get together with them and Kyle and Colin and our kids. We tell people over and over that you can only control what you can do. Those are the things that we want to show our children and teach them by example that you can make a difference yourself. We have been more than blessed. The Clemson baseball family has been great we had the kids up for the game in Charlotte. You know because you covered it. I want to thank you Robert for the things that you have done because that is what it is about. There are a lot of us that are blessed, but the question is what you do with those blessings. Do you allow them to capture you and make them who you are or do you share them with other people and have the opportunity to make people’s lives better because of the gifts that you have been given. I think that is challenge. That is the parable or the challenge that God challenges us with all of the time. To take that talent and use it. Those are the things we have tried to reiterate to our children.”
TCI: When do you think this process will be over this summer? Do you think it will take most of the summer or do you think we will have a pretty quick decision?
Mr: Parker:“The first thing is the process has to start which it really hasn’t. It really won’t until the draft is finished and you find out who the players are and what the opportunities are. I think we have been very diligent speaking with the teams. As I have spoken with them I have said look we really want to make this decision in a reasonable amount of time. I know the date is August 14 for the pro clubs, but really for us the second summer session starts on June 30. We would like to have this decision because Kyle feels committed to his teammates so that they can begin to prepare with him or without him. It is an important year. I tell people all the time that this is people’s jobs. It is not just some kind of fun thing. A lot of people don’t think about that and there are things that have to be prepared for. So that is our goal and we haven’t been in this process before and don’t really know how that extends. We just know it is our intent to try and honor that. People have been so good to us and we want to pay that back if we can.”
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