First-year Liberty coach goes on offense

First-year Liberty boys basketball coach Omar Parker wasn’t willing to waste a second. The team kicked off the season by practicing at midnight Nov. 12, then twice more later in the day.

The Liberty High School boys basketball team stands near a grandfather clock to mark when their Midnight Madness practice started.

First-year Liberty boys basketball coach Omar Parker wasn’t willing to waste a second. The team kicked off the season by practicing at midnight Nov. 12, then twice more later in the day.

“We wanted to attack this thing the very first second that we could,” Parker said. “By the end of Monday we had three good, hard, short practices. By Tuesday our team could feel like maybe we were ahead of our competition.”

Parker’s top priority is to establish a culture for the program and turn the expectations around. The Patriots haven’t been bad, the team went 9-11 last season, but it hasn’t been among the league leaders often either. The team has also never been to state.

“We have to build an excitement around here,” Parker said. “The team has really embraced that mindset and they’ve embraced a work ethic that has even surprised me a little bit.”

The team’s top returner is senior Tynann Gilmore. Gilmore led the team in scoring and was a second team all-league player last season.

“If he’s not the best returning player in the KingCo, he’s got to be one of the best,” Parker said of Gilmore.

Another talented returner is 6-foot-5 senior Matt Campbell. Parker said Campbell’s ability to run the floor well means the team can easily play an aggressive fast style.

Other key players are Chase Puglisi, Tim Phan and Di Wang. Puglisi’s versatility – he has good size at 6-foot-4 but can also shoot from outside – will help the team immensely.

“The versatility of Chase and the committee of wing players makes us dangerous,” Parker said.

One weakness at this point is health. Robbie Thomas and Kellen Birdsall are both dealing with injuries.

Dayton Mackay and Dalton O’Brien will step in to take some of the load off at the wing position, while Thomas and Birdsall are injured. Parker said the team is evaluating both players’ injuries week to week.

Parker played and coached at Mercer Island High School. Most recently, he was the director of player development at the University of Missouri.

 

More in Sports

Renton celebrates a successful fall season

A list of Renton athletes earned awards and honors

Photo courtesy of Jeric Liam
                                The new girls wrestling team at Renton High School. Left to right: Beanca Medrano, Myranda Moran, Sophia Nguyen, Alexandra Buenbrazo, Jackie Abergo, Tabitha Martinez and Emilee. Not pictured: Anan Afrida, Ghlezian Gonzales, Nyasia Saetern.
Girls wrestling joins Renton High

Student athletes rally to bring back sporting option for young women

Hazen High School’s Athlete of the Week – Rae Gerkin

Hazen High School’s Rae Gerking, girls soccer, was chosen as the Renton… Continue reading

Hazen High School’s Athlete of the Week – Kylie Doan

Hazen High School’s Kylie Doan, swimming, was chosen as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Photos by Yuriy Tsupruk.
Lindbergh crushes Foss

Lindbergh High School’s football team swept up the win during its game… Continue reading

Federal Way washes out Hazen in Renton

During a rainy night on Friday, Oct. 18, at Renton Memorial Stadium,… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Victor Yee. The Hazen girls golf team is taking home the championship banner for the first time in its history.
Hazen girls golf wins a banner

Before this season, golf was the only sport in the Hazen high… Continue reading

Hazen defeats Kentlake football

Hazen High School faced off against Kentlake High School on Thursday Oct.… Continue reading

Hazen High School’s male Athlete of the Week

Hazen High School’s Tim Tuemmler, tennis, was chosen as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Hazen High School’s female Athlete of the Week

Hazen High School’s Makena Kiellsen, soccer, was chosen as the Renton Reporter’s… Continue reading

Renton celebrates homecoming

Renton High School’s football players were cheered on by friends, family and… Continue reading

Photos by Yuriy Tsupruk for The Renton Reporter.
Hazen battles Mount Rainier

Hazen High School football faced off against Mount Rainier High School during… Continue reading