Pacifica Christian guard Parker Strauss is 6’4” and possesses a functional handle, strong passing vision, outside shooting, defensive awareness, and hands that would make most NFL wide receivers jealous. His recruitment really took flight recently, after a huge Section 7 showing in June. Since the last time Pro Insight caught up with Strauss just a few weeks ago, he has added offers and now is ready to name his finalists, as well as give a glimpse into his process.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Parker Strauss, from Newport Beach, California:
Pro Insight: It’s only been about a month since our last interview, but it feels like your recruitment has really taken off…so, catch us up — what’s the latest?
Parker Strauss: It has been incredibly busy. Games, workouts, tons of conversations with some coaches, it has all been great stuff. I’ve heard from about close to about 40 schools in this process, which has been a huge blessing. I am excited to narrow it down to six. The six final schools will be Northwestern, Fordham, Colorado State, Wyoming, Southern Utah, and Lehigh. I just want to say I am so thankful for all of the programs for believing in me and I am so grateful for all of the conversations I have had with every coach. It has been a blessing and it has been what I have dreamed of since I was a little kid.
PI: When we last spoke, you mentioned you were prioritizing a college program’s winning culture and your relationship with the coaching staff. Do you feel like the six programs remaining fit that criteria?
PS: Absolutely. I mean, all six I have built a great relationship with and each of them have great culture with their programs. So, wherever it may be, I am excited to get after it!
PI: What’s been the most consistent feedback you’ve received from college coaches?
PS: A lot of coaches love my leadership ability. Getting everyone involved with passing, my high fives, and taking charges.
PI: What’s been the most unique piece of feedback you’ve received?
PS: I think it has got to be how they all love the charges. That has probably been the biggest one.
PI: When did you start focusing on taking charges?
PS: My older brother, Justin, was amazing at it. He was the inspiration and when I got to Pacifica (Christian), that was Coach Jeff Berokoff’s big thing. So I was like “hey, I gotta get into this.” So it ended up just working out, kind of, and I love’em. It is such a great energy boost, it gets the whole team involved, I love it.
PI: Is there anyone in particular you watch for tips/timing on taking charges or any other intangible-type things?
PS: No, I mean I just watch hoops. So I kind of pick it up from everywhere. Just kind of, defensive rotations and like I said, my brother was pretty big into it. So that was the inspiration.
PI: What have been some of the most memorable moments throughout your recruiting journey thus far?
PS: I would say the first one had to be my first offer. I had dreamed of that day since I was five or six years old, since I picked up a basketball and learned about college basketball. And then obviously Section 7 was just fantastic. It was a first class event, it was pretty surreal to get the first one and be able to celebrate with the teammates. It was a great event, a great weekend.
PI: If you could sum up your recruitment up to this point in just one word, what would it be?
PI: How is the rest of your timeline looking?
PS: I am planning on taking my five officials throughout the last week in August, throughout September and even maybe a little bit into October. Ultimately, taking all five and then coming to a decision before mid-October. Just so I can focus all of my chips into the season and be committed before then.
PI: Has Pepperdine standout (and former Pacifica Christian guard) Houston Mallette given you any pertinent advice throughout this process?
PS: Yeah, he told me you just have to keep getting better everyday and always remember that feeling of when nobody really wanted you. It has kind of stuck with me through all of this and he has been a great example of mentality and work ethic. Houston is the guy at Pacifica, so I am excited to see how he continues to play at Pepperdine. I know he’ll keep killing it, so it will be fun to watch.
PI: Who would you say you’ve leaned on most for advice?
PS: My parents, my two brothers Justin and Andrew, and Coach (Jeff) Berokoff. My parents have been rocks for me since the start. They have always believed in me, been by my side every step of the way. Whether it was my Mom giving me a heartfelt talk when I was down or if I had a bad game, or my Dad rebounding for me everyday since I was in sixth or seventh grade. They have done kind of whatever it took for me to achieve my dreams. I am lucky to call them Mom and Dad — they have been with me every step of the way.
Justin and Andrew, they are the reason I picked up basketball in the first place. I wouldn’t be even close to where I am without them. Even through this whole process, they have always put a smile on my face regardless of all of the long conversations, they have helped me a lot. I couldn’t ask for two better brothers to have during this time and throughout my whole life.
Lastly, Coach B, Coach Berokoff, he has helped me in unimaginable ways. Through all of the conversations we’ve had in the last five or six months, he has definitely been the guy to help me through this process. Ever since I have first stepped foot at Pacifica, he has just been amazing. I wouldn’t want it any other way. He is the best coach I have ever played for and I am blessed to have him in my circle.
PI: Lastly, what do you still feel like you need to prove and/or accomplish before you arrive on a college campus in less than a year?
PS: Everything, man. I have a lot to prove, I haven’t done much. I’ve got big aspirations this year, we want to win that CIF championship. I know college basketball is a much faster and more physical game. So I have to continue to get better each and every day, try to improve every day and see where that takes me.