The boys’ basketball team at Parkview is coming off a good performance at the Tournament of Champions in early January.
In that tournament, senior Elijah Whitley proved he can ball with the best.
In Whitley’s case, sometimes love doesn’t’ always come at first sight.
“I used to not like basketball when I was younger when I was a little kid,” the Parkview Senior said.
Some love stories take time.
“Middle school is when I took it seriously and was really in the gym every day,” Elijah added.
Nowadays it’s hard to think of Elijah Whitley without thinking basketball.
“He started the last four games of his freshman year on the varsity level, late in that year we needed a spark, and he came in and played really well. Then, as a sophomore he kind of took off,” Parkview Basketball Coach Landon Cornish said.
The Parkview standout was first-team All-State as a junior and recently surpassed 1,000 career points as a senior.
“His explosiveness and athleticism draws a lot of attention. When he has the ability to be open and catch and shoot he’s an extremely efficient scorer. He was up over 40% from three last year, which is really high, and now he’s about 37%. He just doesn’t get a lot of clean looks now. He can go make big plays and hit big shots and get up around the basket, and he’s a fun player to watch,” Cornish added.
Elijah can do it all for the Vikings, especially bringing excitement above the rim.
“It’s a different feeling being able to jump like that because you just want to put somebody in the rim. You just want to go make that highlight or bring some energy,” Elijah said.
He brings that energy, even when the dunks don’t fall.
“It kind of helps set a tone for all our guys, obviously we want them to go in and we want the points but when you’re aggressive like that and you want to try and make a play, we’re all for it,” said Cornish.
Every dunk and every three confirms Elijah’s love for the game he once didn’t have.
“Just the feeling, just everything about it, I just love the game. Come in the gym and it feels good just to run around, shoot some shots, dunk the ball, get some good work in, it feels good everything with basketball,” said Elijah.
Elijah’s love story with basketball will continue next year when he plays for Drury.