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High-scoring Parker nabs weekly honor

The Japan Times

Talented forward Michael Parker has been the Rizing Fukuoka’s best player this season. And after a sensational weekend, the bj-league recognized him as the Circle K Sunkus Player of the Week, it was announced on Tuesday.

Parker, the league’s leading scorer at 25.7 points per game, had a 29-point, seven-rebound, four-block performance in a 78-72 victory over the Oita HeatDevils on Saturday. A day later, he scored 22 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots in an 80-67 victory.

Fukuoka began the season with losses in five of its first six games, but steady improvement has helped the team improve to 8-10 after Sunday’s win. Credit Parker for a big hand in the team’s turnaround.

Consider: He’s scored in double figures in every game this season.

What’s more, he’s had 14 games with 10 or more rebounds. He’s had 12 games with two or more blocks. And he’s had 10 games with two or more steals. And he regularly earns trips to the free-throw line (5.3 per game) and is shooting a respectable 72.9 percent (70-for-96).

Before the season started Rizing coach John Neumann said Parker would need to be the team’s go-to player. Clearly, Parker has embraced this challenge.