Honors and Awards
- Team Defensive MVP (2013-14)
- Seventh on NU's single-season freshman list in assists (69 in 2012-13)
Parker emerged as a vital member of the Huskers' rotation at the point guard spot. He quickly became a fan favorite for his effort on the defensive end, while running Nebraska's attack. Although 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.
After the dismissal of Deverell Biggs, Parker became more of a scoring threat, 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 an assist totals and averaged 1.5 steals per game in that stretch. He saw significant time in the postseason, averaging 4.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament contests.
In Big Ten action, Parker played in all 18 games, but found consistent minutes down the stretch. Beginning with the Minnesota win on Jan. 26 when he had four points, two assists and two rebounds in 10 minutes of work, 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. Parker was electrifying against Purdue with two points, two assists and three steals, helping to limit the Boilermakers to just 30 percent shooting. During the final weeks of the season, Parker became more of an offensive threat, as he had six points at Illinois on Feb. 26, seven points and drew a crucial charge with 29 seconds left to preserve a four-point Husker lead. Parker set his Big Ten career 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. Parker closed Big Ten play by playing a season-high 31 minutes in the win over No. 9 Wisconsin, added four points, two assists and a pair of steals.
During non-conference action, Parker showed signs of improvement early on, when he scored a career-high 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. He played at least 20 minutes in each of NU's first two contests, as Biggs and Ray Gallegos were suspended. He had three assists in a win over South Carolina State on Nov. 17, and had a pair of assists and three steals in the loss to UMass on Nov. 22. Parker then 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 during Tim Miles' first season at Nebraska. Parker was one of four Huskers to play in all 33 games in 2012-13, averaging 2.7 points, 2.1 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game. His 69 assists not only ranked second on the team, but placed him seventh on NU's single-season freshman list. Parker, who became just the 10th Husker freshman to start a season opener since 1995, 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 appearances. The Kansas City, Kan., native did not commit a turnover in his final 81 minutes of action dating back to Feb. 26. Parker 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 matching his career high with three rebounds against No. 10 Ohio State in the Big Ten quarterfinals on March 15. It was his highest point total since Dec. 3, and his three assists were the most since dishing out six assists at Minnesota on Jan. 29. 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. He struggled finding his shooting form, hitting 24 percent, but also had a 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio and was fourth on the team with 13 steals in conference action. Parker had multiple assists six times in Big Ten action, including six at Minnesota when he played 30 minutes. He also scored four points in three consecutive games, including performances against No. 8 Ohio State on Feb. 2 and at No. 1 Indiana on Feb. 13.
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 11 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. 1 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 against the Demon Deacons. 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, and had four points and three assists in a win over Central Michigan at the Sun Bowl Invitational on Dec. 23. He closed non-conference play by dishing out a team-high four assists and scoring four points in 28 minutes against Nicholls State on Dec. 29.
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.
A three-star selection by Rivals.com, 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 and an appearance in the sub-state tournament. He shot 53 percent from the field and has nearly a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. 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. He also had a pair of 30-point efforts and totaled 20 or more points in 16 of 23 games as a senior. Parker capped his career with 20 points in the Kansas-Missouri All-Star game with 8-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range in just 15 minutes of action.
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. A first-team all-metro selection by the Kansas City Star, Parker shot 51 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from long distance. 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. He chose Nebraska over DePaul, Murray State, Kansas State and Buffalo.