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Olympians hoops star invited to play in Showcase game

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If you watched the Columbus East boys basketball team last season, you not only would have seen then-sophomore Parker Chitty, you would have heard him.

Chitty admitted that, being a point guard, he had to be a little more vocal than would have been comfortable for a guy trying to blend with older players.

But that’s just part of the package when it comes to playing point guard.

Whether he was calling out plays or getting his teammates pumped up after a 3-pointer, Chitty turned up the volume on his game.

Basketball coaches around the state must have liked what they saw, and heard, because Chitty has been invited to the 12th annual Indiana Basketball Coaches Association/Indiana High School Athletic Association Top 100 Showcase on Thursday at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

East teammate Connor Umphress and Columbus North’s Trent Larson and Josh Speidel also are attending, but they all are headed into their senior year. The Top 100 Showcase was designed to allow college scouts to get a look at the state’s best players as they work through drills and play in game situations, so Chitty is off to a fast start.

“It is an incredible honor just to be noticed,” Chitty said. “I get to play with some of the best the state has to offer and show scouts what I can do.”

And he gets to show his potential with two seasons of high school basketball remaining.

“This year, I really want to study how the older players play,” he said. “Some of those guys will be going to Division I schools, so I will try to do everything I can to stand out and belong with that group.”

After this past season concluded, Chitty immediately hit the weight room to build his size and strength, and this summer he has honed his skills by playing AAU basketball for the Indiana Thunder.

“I’ve had the chance to travel around the state,” Chitty said. “There were some potential NBA prospects thrown in the mix at some of my games, but I still had to play how I always play and become a tougher player.”

By the end of the summer, he expects to have at least 30 games under his belt.

“It’s non-stop basketball,” Chitty said. “It’s a grind, but it’s also fun. You enhance your skills with a great group of guys that want to be at the next level just as bad as you.”

When it comes to potential college choices, Parker plans to emphasize education first, as he is hoping to major in business and potentially coach.

“Education is always first for me,” he said. “My goal is to hit a 4.0 GPA, and if a school has my major that I’m looking for, then I will keep my options wide open for basketball.

“If they have my major I’ll be set, with a future plan. If I can get a 4.0 I’ll be set.”

Chitty’s basketball coach at Columbus East will make sure he keeps his priorities straight. That’s because he is coached by his father, Brent Chitty.

“He is a humble, yet confident player,” Brent Chitty said of his son. “He’s very charged up to play against some of the best players the state (at the Top 100 Showcase) and possibly the country have to offer.”

Brent Chitty said his son has proven his ability through his work last season and during summer basketball. The elder Chitty said it has been the result of hard work.

“If you want to get good, you have to play good competition,” Brent Chitty said. “Parker has done that. He has played against potential NBA prospects during AAU competition and has shown through his play that he wants to be noticed.”

Brent Chitty said his teammates both with the Olympians and his summer team have helped him get noticed.

“You can’t put all the recognition on him as an individual,” Brent Chitty said. “The teams he has competed with have helped him become the player he wants to be.”

When it comes to the Top 100 Showcase, Parker Chitty said he is ready for the challenge.

“I’m all eyes and ears,” he said. “I’m ready to develop into a much better basketball player and learn from others what it takes to be a leader for our team.”

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