That’s probably why Parrish fell to tears upon the conclusion of the 2017 National Invitational Tournament title game at MSG last week, which itself was in little doubt as TCU blew Georgia Tech out in the second half, winning 88-56.
Even so, it all seemed to hit Parrish all in one sweeping moment, one that he’ll remember for the rest of his life.
“It’s just so big for me to have this moment right now,” Parrish offered at the post-game presser. “To have went through the trenches, and not see a lot of success early, knowing today was going to be my last game whatever the outcome was, it’s been really emotional for me.
Parrish in many ways has the heart and soul of the emerging TCU program, which capped off their first NIT Title by improving to (24-15) on the season, their first 20-plus win campaign since 2004-05, and the programs’ most overall victories since 1997-98, nearly 20 years.
For his career, Parrish averaged 7.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, not gaudy numbers on the surface, but in regards to his salient contributions, he’s simply seen and done it all in Horned Frog Country.
It may be college basketball’s forgotten classic, but Parrish’s perspective suggests the NIT is anything but insignificant, and in many ways a springboard for those returning the following season.
“For me to be able to have this moment with my brothers, now we have something that’s forever,” Parrish said. “Nobody could ever take this away from us.
“There were so many times that people said we’d never be able to do it, that guys on our team weren’t good enough, that our program wasn’t good enough,” he added. “The fact that we could silence all the doubters today, it’s a dream come true.”
A key element to the win itself was junior guard Kenrich Williams, who finished with a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, earning Most Outstanding Player honors as a result.
Williams himself missed all of last season with a knee injury, and TCU head coach Jamie Dixon, who came over from Pittsburgh, says Williams is “just now getting his legs back.”
For Williams, his sentiments are in line with Parrish’s, as he provided a confident look into his crystal ball.
“This is huge for our program and for our school,” Williams said post-game. “I started to realize that our basketball team is on the map certainly by winning this tournament, and even next year I think we’ll be ever better.”
Elsewhere on TCU, junior forward and leading scorer Vlad Bordziansky capped off a big night with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Alex Robinson added 10 points, and dished 11 assists for the second time in the NIT; the first coming against top-seeded Iowa in a round two overtime victory.
In defeat, Georgia Tech was led by junior guard Tadric Jackson, who came off the bench and erupted for 19 points. Star freshman Josh Okogie finished with 12 points but shot only 4-of-12 from the field while coming down with five boards.