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O'Hara's Parker gives word to Siena, as Sister Maria Pares Player of the Year makes college choice

Cardinal O'Hara's Angel Parker believes she has found the perfect fit, so she isn't letting her college decision linger into her senior year. The Buffalo News' Sister Maria Pares Girls Basketball Player of the Year has given a verbal commitment to play Division I hoops at Siena.

Parker selected the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school located in Loudonville (suburban Albany) over offers from Siena's MAAC rivals and local Big 4 teams Canisius and Niagara, as well as Brown and Hartford.

"I really liked the school and the coaches," Parker said Saturday night. "I think they can really mold me into a better player and a better person. It's not that far from home. I really like the campus."

"I felt like that's where I wanted to go and there's nowhere else I wanted to go."

O'Hara coach Nick O'Neil said: "She was getting mid-major interest, but she's one of those kids who just wants to go play where she feels comfortable and she feels comfortable at Siena."

The 5-foot-6 Parker, a lightning-quick point guard, shined in moving from role player to team's top offensive threat. She nearly doubled her points per game average, finishing at 15, while continuing to lead the Hawks in assists per game (7.0) and steals (6.0).

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Parker is the fifth O'Hara girls basketball player in six years to earn a Division I scholarship. Coincidentally, Parker has played with two of the players in that group: current University at Buffalo sophomore Summer Hemphill and Canisius freshman Anndea Zeigler.

"I just wanted to live up the standard of being there and having good players go D-I," Parker said. "I just wanted to keep it going to make my O'Hara family and my family at home proud."

Parker has played four seasons of varsity basketball, three at O'Hara. Parker, who played for Cheektowaga as an eighth-grader, has scored 885 points in her career. She has played in a championship game each year of her scholastic career.

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