Shelby Parmer didn’t embark on her first season as a basketball player at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College desiring to be an All-American.
The fact it turned out that way continues to be a surprise.
“I actually was a little shocked because it was my first year after transferring,” said Parmer, the former Franklin Community High School guard who played her freshman and sophomore seasons of college basketball at Vincennes University.
“It was pretty exciting.”
Parmer earned her Second Team All-American certificate and the deserved applause at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s (USCAA) annual National Tournament Banquet on March 3.
The Pomeroys were in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, as the USCAA National Tournament’s No. 6 seed but lost to third-seeded Berea 78-74 the following day despite Parmer’s eight points, three rebounds and three assists.
Parmer finished what was a 13-13 season for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with averages of 14.5 points, 4.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 steals.
Her assist and steals numbers placed her in the top five nationally among USCAA players in those categories.
“Shelby is the catalyst that keeps this team running, especially offensively. She is constantly orchestrating what needs to be done on both ends of the floor and figuring out different ways to score whether it’s her taking a shot or picking up an assist by finding the open shooter,” 21-year Pomeroys coach Deanna Bradley.
“She is very deserving of her Second Team All-American honors, and we are all very proud if her.”
The third leg of Parmer’s four-year college journey has allowed her to be teammates with younger sister, Tara, a 5-4 guard who completed her freshman season averaging 7.5 points, 4.1 boards and 2.1 assists.
Shelby started 23 games this past season; Tara started eight.
That’s an abundance of backcourts shared by the sisters, who before signing with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on July 18, figured their final moments as teammates came as Grizzly Cubs players three years ago.
The sisters, who shared a bedroom while growing up, are also roommates at Le Fer Hall, the campus’s four-story residence hall currently in its 92nd year of use.
“There have been a couple of times we’ve argued, mainly about clothing,” Shelby said, laughing. “There was this one time where blood was drawn because of long nails, but we were best friends again the next morning.”
Shelby, as the older sister, hints it was her fingernails and Tara’s blood; Tara good-naturedly disputes this claim, saying she’s won the majority of the sisterly skirmishes.
Only the two of them know for sure.
Shelby Parmer wears No. 12 for the Pomeroys, while Tara is No. 13 — a fitting roster reality considering how close they are and have always been.
“Playing with Shelby this season was just like old times, but better. Most of the time we read each other pretty well and know what one is going to do before we do it whether it be on or off the court,” Tara Parmer said.
“She had an outstanding season this year and I am so proud to be able to claim her as my sister. I just hope next season doesn’t go by so quickly because we want to make the most out of our final season playing together.”
Having the sisters Parmer in powder blue played a major role in elevating the Pomeroys’ from what was an 8-16 team only a year ago.
Now that they’ve sampled the national tournament, the objective now is to win it.
“I just hope to enjoy my last year of college basketball and my last year with Tara as a teammate. We thought the last time playing together would be in high school, but next year will really be the last time,” Shelby said.
“It’s starting to hit us now that we have one year left.”
THE PARMER FILE
Name: Shelby Parmer
Points per game: 14.5
Rebounds per game: 4.2
Assists per game: 4.9
Season-highs: 29 points (105-44 win over Robert Morris Springfield on Jan. 13), 10 rebounds (95-80 win at Apprentice on Jan. 17), 8 assists (three different times), 10 steals (101-100 loss to MacMurray on Dec. 12), 2 blocks (109-56 win at Southern State on Nov. 5).