Parker, O'Connor are USBWA Division III National Players of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA)Christian Parker of the University of Mount Union (Alliance, Ohio) and Flannery O'Connor of Framingham State University (Framingham, Mass.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending January 30.

Parker, a 6-6 sophomore forward from Canton, Ohio, averaged a double-double in leading No. 11 ( Mount Union (16-2, 9-2) to three conference victories last week. On Monday, Parker had 26 points (8-of-13 FG, 10-of-15 FT), eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal in the Purple Raiders' 81-63 win over La Roche. He scored a career-high 28 points (10-of-14 FG, 7-of-12 FT, 1-of-2 3FG) while adding 11 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in Wednesday's 89-80 victory over John Carroll. Then, in a 93-71 win over Ohio Northern on Saturday, Parker finished with 18 points (6-of-8 FG, 5-of-6 FT, 1-of-1 3FG), 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Over the three games, he averaged 24.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.6 blocks while shooting 68.5 percent (24-of-35) from the field, 50 percent (2-of-4) from three-point range and 66.7 percent (22-of-33) from the foul line. For his efforts, Parker, who is eighth in NCAA Division III in field goal percentage (66.3 percent), was also named the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Player of the Week.

O'Connor, a 5-11 sophomore forward from Amesbury, Mass., posted three double-doubles in leading Framingham State (15-3, 7-0) to three conference victories last week. In a 102-55 bludgeoning of Westfield State on Monday, O'Connor had 28 points (12-of-21 FG, 4-of-5 FT), 15 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. In the Rams' 74-57 win over Worcester State on Wednesday, she finished with 23 points (8-of-16 FG, 7-of-7 FT), 14 rebounds, four assists, a steal, and four blocks. Then, in a 78-54 victory over Bridgewater State on Friday, O'Connor played all 40 minutes and totaled 18 points (8-of-14 FG, 2-of-5 FT), 17 rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a block. For the week, she averaged 23.0 points, 15.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.6 blocks while shooting 54.9 percent (28-of-51) from the field and 76.4 percent (13-of-17) from the foul line. For her efforts, O'Connor was also named Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Player of the Week.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. The program has resumed after a one-season hiatus and this is the seventh season that the USBWA will recognize national players of the week from Division III.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.