After making his visit to the state’s capital, Barton Community College sophomore guard Turon Parker knew he had found his home for his final two seasons.
“As soon as I went there, I noticed what the basketball environment was down there,” said the 6-foot-1 Parker, a native of Canton, Ohio, after checking out the NCAA Division-II Washburn University campus in Topeka and signing on Wednesday. “There were a lot of championships (banners) and things like that.
“It’s the best fit for me because of Coach (Bob) Chipman and Coach Brown (Dave, Chipman’s assistant and recruiter) ... it’s just the environment. I’m looking forward to it.”
One of the winningest active college coaches at any level, Chipman has registered more than 500 wins during 35 years at the helm at Washburn — the most of any Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association coach.
Barton assistant coach Matt Hundley, a former guard for Chipman, helping lead Washburn to a runner-up finish at the 2001 NCAA D-II national championships, played an integral role in helping Parker land at Washburn.
“Coach Hundley helped me a lot,” Parker said. “He helped me take care of my business, as far as looking over videos and stuff like that.
“He took me to my visit, and he was a big help.”
After making his visit to Washburn, Parker said he was sold on the prospect of playing for the Ichabods.
“Turon has the ability to play 30 to 35 minutes, whatever they need,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said. “They have a great tradition, but they lose a lot of their guards.
“He will be able to step right in at point guard and play.”
Parker rotated with fellow sophomore guard Al Key, who signed on Wednesday to play for Alabama, at the point and off-guard positions this past winter.
A steadying influence in the backcourt, Parker had 119 assists, ranking him second on the team to Key, whom he tied for the team lead with 63 steals.
Parker, who averaged 11.8 points — third on the team — had a team-best 59 3-pointers (59 for 159 for 37.1 percent), and shot a team-best 72.2 percent on foul shots.
“He made a lot of critical free throws for us over the past couple seasons,” Fletchall said.