Back in 1891, the very first Swiss Army knife was produced.
The multi-tool item was designed as a convenient way to have access to several useful attachments at any given time.
Close to 125 years later, the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team has a Swiss Army knife of their own in stat-stuffing guard Kevon Parchment.
He may not fit in your pocket, but he brings scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks – all in a 6’3” package.
When Cascades head coach Adam Friesen is in trouble, chances are he reaches for Parchment, only this valuable tool was made in Jamaica, not Switzerland.
Parchment is the only player in Canada West who has hovered in the top-10 for points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks all season long. He’s also been the key player holding the team together in the wake of injuries that have plagued the Cascades for much of the season.
UFV sits in second place in the Explorer division with 10 wins and six losses, and much of that is thanks to Parchment’s play.
Abbotsford is a world away from Parchment’s birthplace of Jamaica, and a considerable distance from where he grew up in Toronto. He moved to Canada at the age of five, and it wasn’t hockey that gripped him and his friends; it was basketball.
“When I moved to Toronto it was the thing to do,” he said. “Growing up in the [Vince] Carter era, the Raptors and basketball were huge. I’d go outside and everyone was playing basketball.”
Parchment played high school basketball in Toronto before he red-shirted for a junior college in Florida. After a year in the Sunshine State, he followed several high school friends north – to Alberta’s Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Alta.
He helped lead the Lakeland Rustlers to a perfect 20-0 season, but they were ousted early in the playoffs. That season landed Parchment on the radar of the Cascades and head coach Adam Friesen, who was an assistant coach at the time.
“His ability to affect the game in so many different ways is what we noticed,” Friesen said. “And just how hard he works on the floor.”
Parchment first suited up for the Cascades in the 2012-13 season and immediately made an impact. He was on the starting lineup from day one, and was able to give his team whatever they needed.
“When he first came in, we had other great scorers like Kyle Grewal, so he used his passing and defence to make others better,” Friesen said. “He was – and still is – our number one perimeter defender; he led our fast break transition and has always rebounded the ball so well.”
Now this year, he is the main cog for the Cascades.
“He’s gone from a secondary player early on to the guy with the basketball in his hands, creating and scoring for himself,” he said. “He’s had to step up this year in terms of leadership because of all of our injuries and he’s provided a lot of stability for this group. We can always look to him to perform and give everyone a sense of calm. He keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win.”
His ability to rebound is a skill that has set Parchment apart. The fact that the guard ranks fourth in the Canada West for rebounds is even puzzling to his coach.
“I don’t know how he rebounds so well; it’s nothing I’ve taught him,” Friesen joked. “He has a nose for it. He gets in there and somehow comes away with the basketball. It’s impressive.”
Parchment’s legacy at UFV is something Friesen doesn’t take lightly, noting that he’ll be in the discussion as one of the top players that have ever played at UFV.
“He belongs right up there with Grewal, Sam Freeman and Jasper Moedt.”
Parchment enjoys the individual accolades, but said he wants to bring a banner to UFV. He was part of the Cascades Canada West bronze medal-winning team last year, but wants more.
Parchment and the Cascades host the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack on Friday and Saturday, and then conclude the season in Calgary for a pair of games against the Mount Royal University Cougars.