Seven weeks after suffering a gunshot wound to the leg and four weeks after his mother passed away, Arizona forward Kevin Parrom checked into Sunday's game and did what he does best -- make an impact. He collected six points, four rebounds and two assists coming off the bench to help the Wildcats beat Ball State.
Then came a moment with a deeper meaning as he was removed from the game and went straight into the arms of coach Sean Miller for a long hug.
"It was great," Parrom told reporters. "I look at Coach, and he's more than a coach to me. I've known him for a long time. The hug was just great."
Parrom can now look forward to another emotional game when he heads back to his native New York to play in the championship rounds of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats play St. John's on Thursday in a matchup that features numerous top-100 recruits and then either Texas A&M or Mississippi State.
Parrom's return gives Arizona a veteran presence and one that has now become a source of inspiration. He has recovered from a gunshot wound to provide the team a lift. He has mourned the loss of his mother and now returns home once again -- this time for happier reasons.
From the Tucson Citizen:
“He's just such a warrior, such a great kid, a kid who's been through more than any person ever deserves to be through,” Miller said. "We're so much a better team with Kevin, but that’s not even the story. …
"You go through what Kevin went through, nobody has any idea how much time we spent together, talking, meeting, me trying to be hard on him knowing it’s almost unfair for me to be hard on him, but that is what is required for him to continue to forge ahead.
"I'm just grateful that he is on our team. It's just really awesome to see him out there."