|Hometown:||Kansas City, Kan.|
|High School:||Sumner Academy|
Honors and Awards
- 2015-16 Captains
- Defensive MVP (2013-14 & 2014-15)Most Improved Player (2013-14)
- Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2015)
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (2015)
- 2014-15 Bus Whitehead Memorial Scholarship Recipient
One of the best on-ball defenders in the Big Ten, Benny Parker has created a niche for himself with his tenacity and hustle on the court. The 5-foot-9 point guard has played in all 96 games the past three seasons and his 43 starts are second only to Shavon Shields on the 2015-16 roster. The team's defensive MVP in each of the past two seasons, Parker was eighth in the Big Ten in steals and is poised to crack the top 10 on the Husker career charts as well. One of the hardest workers in the program, Parker has been diligent in looking for ways to improve his game, as he has made significant strides in his shooting in his career. Parker's leadership off the court is equally vital, as he provides guidance to freshman guards Glynn Watson Jr. and Bakari Evelyn.
2015 (Spain Trip)
Parker started three games in Spain, averaging 5.3 points on 53 percent shooting, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He had 10 points, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, five rebounds and four assists in a win over the Europe Basketball Academy.
Parker was one of four Huskers to appear in all 31 games, as he averaged 4.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.50 steals per contest. He started 25 of 31 games and topped the Huskers in steals and ranked third in assists, while posting a team-best 1.46-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. His steals per game ranked eighth in the Big Ten. More impressively, Parker was one of only 12 players in Division I to average at least 1.40 steals per game while committing less than 1.20 turnovers per game. Parker had one turnover or less in 22 of 31 games, including each of the Huskers’ final eight contests. He had 16 multi-steal games and was chosen by his teammates as the team's defensive MVP in 2014-15.
Parker started 15 of 18 Big Ten games, averaging 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, while ranking third on the team in assists (26) and second in steals (20). His best offensive performance came against Rutgers when he scored nine points and hit all three of his shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, while adding three assists and a pair of steals. He also had seven points at Michigan and six points in the win over Northwestern. He had three or more assists six times in Big Ten action, including four against Northwestern, and had seven multi-steal efforts in Big Ten play, including three apiece in the Big Ten opener against Indiana and the conference finale versus No. 10 Maryland, when he also grabbed a career best six rebounds.
Parker began the season by coming off the bench for the first three games before he was moved into the starting lineup for the remainder of non-conference action. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 6.8 points per game during non-conference action and tied or set personal bests in points twice, including a career-high 12 points at Hawaii on 5-of-7 shooting. His biggest moment of the season came in a double-OT win over Cincinnati, when he played a career-high 44 minutes and had six points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:44 left in the second OT, five rebounds and two steals.
Parker emerged as a vital member of the Huskers' rotation at the point guard spot. He averaged just 2.4 points per game and had a better than 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Parker provided intangibles and toughness in his perimeter defensive efforts. He led NU with 30 steals despite playing less than 15 minutes per game and was chosen by his teammates as the Huskers' defensive MVP.
Parker became more of a scoring threat down the stretch, averaging 3.8 points per game on 58 percent shooting from the field over NU's final 14 games, a stretch where the Huskers went 10-4. He also increased both his rebounding and assist totals and averaged 1.5 steals per game in that span.
In Big Ten action, Parker played in all 18 games and found consistent minutes down the stretch. Beginning with the Minnesota win on Jan. 26, Parker saw double-digit minutes in 13 of the Huskers' final 14 games. He provided a lift at Northwestern on Feb. 8, scoring all five of his points in the second half and added a pair of steals as Nebraska picked up its first road win of the year. Against Illinois, he matched his career high with four steals and had four assists, while his on-ball defense limited the Illini to 33 percent second-half shooting. He had seven points and drew a crucial charge with 29 seconds left to preserve a four-point Husker lead against Northwestern on March 1. Parker set his Big Ten season high with eight points at Indiana, as he went 3-for-3 from the field, added three steals and helped limit Yogi Ferrell to 4-of-14 shooting.
During non-conference action, Parker showed signs of improvement, when he scored nine points and had two steals against Florida Gulf Coast. He single-handedly keyed a 10-0 second half run with seven points and both of his steals against the Eagles. Parker started consecutive games against Georgia and Northern Illinois. He also had six points on 3-of-3 shooting and a steal in 16 minutes against Arkansas State on Dec. 14.
Parker was one of two freshmen who played a significant role for the Huskers, appearing in all 33 games and averaging 2.7 points, 2.1 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game. His 69 assists ranked second on the team and was seventh on NU's single-season freshman list. Parker also topped the Big Red with a 1.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and committed one turnover or less in 20 of his 33 games. The Kansas City, Kan., native did not commit a turnover in his final 81 minutes of action and led the Huskers in assists 11 times during his freshman campaign.
Parker closed the season with one of his best efforts against Big Ten competition, totaling five points, three assists and three rebounds against No. 10 Ohio State in the Big Ten quarterfinals on March 15. He came off the bench for the majority of the Big Ten season, averaging 1.4 points and 1.4 assists per game while playing an average of 17 minutes per contest.
During non-conference play, Parker battled through nagging injuries, but started every game. He had season bests in points (eight) and minutes in his debut against NCAA qualifier Southern on Nov. 11, finishing with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting. He also had seven points, three rebounds and three assists in a win over Horizon League champion Valparaiso on Nov. 14 before totaling eight points against Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 18. Parker played a significant role in NU's win at Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 27, totaling eight points, including 6-of-9 from the charity stripe, and adding four assists and a career-high four steals. That game marked the final time in non-conference play that Parker was healthy as he battled foot and knee problems over the next month beginning with a sprained foot suffered prior to NU's win over USC on Dec. 3. In that stretch, he totaled just 17 points, but led NU with five assists against Creighton on Dec. 6.
Parker was one of the top players in the Kansas City area during his high school career. He was a four-year starter who led Sumner Academy of Arts and Science to an 85-15 record and a pair of Class 4A state titles during his high school career playing for Coach Dan Parra. Parker totaled 1,468 points, 375 assists and 355 steals during his high school career, finishing third in school history in points scored.
Parker was a first-team Class 4A all-state honoree and second-team selection among all classes in Kansas by the Topeka Capital Journal as a senior. He was a first-team all-metro performer by the Kansas City Star. Parker was honored with the DiRenna Award, representing the top player in the Kansas City metro area following a campaign where he averaged 24.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.9 steals per game in helping Sumner Academy to a 19-4 record. Parker was named the MVP of the Spring Hill Invitational following a 41-point, seven-assist performance in a semifinal win over Spring Hill, tying a school record for most points in a game.
As a junior, he was a first team all-state Class 4A performer and a third-team selection among all classes, helping Coach Parra's team to a 23-3 record and a state title, as he averaged 19.8 points, 5.9 assists, 4.8 steals and 3.7 rebounds per game. During his sophomore campaign, he garnered honorable-mention all-state honors, averaging 12.3 points, 5.3 assists and 4.1 steals per outing while leading Sumner to a state crown.
Benny, whose given name is Benjamin, is the son of Stan and Veronica Parker and was born on April 28, 1994, in Kansas City. He has one older brother, Stan. Benny, who finished with better than a 3.5 GPA at Sumner Academy, is a business administration major at Nebraska and is on pace to graduate in August of 2016. He chose Nebraska over DePaul, Murray State, Kansas State and Buffalo.
Points: 12, at Hawai'i -- 12-22-14
Rebounds: 6, at Maryland -- 02/19/15
Assists: 7, Tulane -- 11/21/12
Steals: 4, 4 times
Blocks: 1, 4 times
FG made: 5, at Hawai'i -- 12-22-14
FG attempts: 7, Southern -- 11/11/12 ; at Hawai'i -- 12-22-14
3FG made: 2, Rutgers -- 01/08/15 ; Creighton -- 12/07/14
3FG attempts: 3, Northwestern -- 02/03/15 ; vs Ohio -- 12/25/14
FT made: 6, Minnesota -- 01/20/15 ; at Wake Forest -- 11/27/12
FT attempts: 9, at Wake Forest -- 11/27/12