As a highly-touted recruit from Fishers, Indiana, Sydney Parrish had the chance to be a “hometown hero” in Bloomington. Instead, she crushed Hoosier hearts by committing to the University of Oregon in April of 2019.
Fast forward three years later and the former eighth-ranked prospect in the country and 2020 Indiana Miss Basketball had entered the transfer portal. While surveying her options, Indiana quickly reached out — and Parrish knew home is where her heart is.
“Entering the portal, I kept my options open, but as soon as IU contacted me, it kind of opened my head a little bit and I just realized, ‘Okay, I can go back home and play, I can be close to family, I can be on a winning program,’” Parrish said.
Parrish’s stint in Eugene was more or less successful. She played and started in all 32 of Oregon’s games last season, averaging 8.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while leading the team in threes made with 52.
Outside shooting is Parrish’s specialty, and she can punish opponents when in a rhythm. In a conference game at the University of California, Berkeley this past January, Parrish drained seven threes on just nine attempts.
“In my opinion, Sydney is the best pure shooter in the country,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said.
Indiana ranked 12th in the Big Ten last season in threes made per game with 4.8. Head coach Teri Moren made it clear adding perimeter shooting was an emphasis this offseason, and the addition of Parrish should contribute to the Hoosiers reaching Moren’s goal.
As a 6-2 guard, Parrish will add size to Indiana’s lineup. Her height for her position should aid her in rebound battles and cause trouble against smaller guards on the perimeter.
Parrish has plenty of attributes to provide that don’t show up in the stat sheet — such as her leadership and basketball IQ.
Parrish is a proven winner throughout her career. She led Hamilton Southeastern High School to a 4A Indiana State title her junior season and made the NCAA Tournament in both seasons at Oregon.
Along with her winning ways, Parrish brings valuable experience to Indiana. Oregon plays in a loaded Pac-12 conference against top-tier programs such as Stanford University and the University of Arizona.
Parrish and the Ducks also faced off against elite teams in the nonconference, such as playing both 2022 national title game contenders — the University of South Carolina and the University of Connecticut. The Ducks defeated the Huskies 72-59 in January.
Parrish will have the chance to be a key piece for the Hoosiers and expand her role as more than just a shooter. If she can play at the five-star level she earned out of high school, Parrish will have the chance to fulfill the dream of all hoopers from Indiana — adding a banner in Assembly Hall.
“I just wanted to come in and contribute as much as I can,” Parrish said. “And hope to get really far in both tournaments.”
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