Name: Chris Parks
Hometown: Conroe, Texas
School: Southern Methodist University– Dallas, Texas
Position: Defensive Back
I’ll never forget my meeting with Chris Parks and his teammates. They were the first interviews for this blog, and great sports about it. We met on a Sunday at the Meadows Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University, which as a Dallas native, is always a treat.
Chris hails from Conroe, Texas…meaning pigskin is in his blood. Like most student-athletes, he doesn’t have a ton of time to volunteer, but when he does– he enjoys every minute of it.
I asked him about his favorite community-based moment, and he told me about Kellen, a local youngster with a physical disability. Despite a rough start, he took his first steps in front of the team last year.
“We told him he can do it. It was a good experience. It made me feel good the team as a whole had a part of that,” he said.
Miracles like Kellen’s are what fuels Chris’ heart for kids. He wants to share his story, and talk to them about the benefits of getting a scholarship. Break down the real deal. Show them the ends and outs. Let them know that there’s more to life than lights, the sound of the crowd and touchdowns.
“Coming from us, I feel like we have a little more impact, because we’re closer to them in age,” he explained.
Chris says in most cases, scholarships provide a free education, mentorship support, and connections for the future.
“You really just have to get up and see what’s out there. It doesn’t have to be sports. It can be academics, because of your language. Anything.” That’s what he wants to convey. That’s what he will preach when he gets the chance.
Last season, the SMU Mustangs finished 7-5 and beat Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl. As a junior, Chris plans to build on that momentum and take them the distance this year. I have no doubt he’ll do just that, and even bigger– prove he’s more than a Mustang.