By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
When Parrish Walker was in high school, he became interested and even fascinated by Eastern Alamance basketball even though his team would never play the Eagles.
Now, he’ll coach Eastern Alamance’s boys’ basketball team.
Walker, who has spent the past four seasons coaching the junior varsity boys’ team at Williams, has been hired to coach the Eagles.
Walker is a 2007 graduate of Greensboro Dudley. Back then, JamesOn Curry was a player at Eastern Alamance on his way to setting a state scoring record.
“During that time we were doing pretty well,” Walker said. “We had heard about JamesOn. We always wanted to play them. He was so hyped.”
Walker, a guard, went on to play for Division III Roanoke College.
His time as a player under coach David Price at Dudley and as JV coach and assistant varsity coach to Tommy Cole at Williams is part of his grooming to be a head coach.
“He played for David Price, so he had that going for him,” Cole said. “He did a great job for us.”
Walker’s JV team at Williams put together back-to-back undefeated seasons. The Bulldogs were 60-8 during his time.
“We tried to do a decent job of building a culture,” Walker said.
Williams’ rising junior Dan Mahan said Walker treated the Bulldogs like they were special.
“He showed that much passion for the JV basketball team,” Mahan said. “Just that mentality.
It was really eye-opening. The only reason I really wanted to play JV was because I love Coach Walker. It was so much fun.”
While at Williams, Walker said he developed more appreciation of the Eagles as an in-county and conference rival.
“I’ve been playing them ever since,” Walker said. “Athletics is big there. Eastern has a winning culture.”
Eastern Alamance is coming off an 11-14 season in Brad Costa’s third and final season. The Eagles were 25-37 under Costa, who replaced the program’s all-time wins leader Jay McPherson.
Most of Eastern’s players from the past season are eligible to be on the 2023-24 team.
Walker, 34, oversaw the Communities In Schools of North Carolina program at Williams, working with juniors and seniors. He said his role at Eastern could fall along a similar path.