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Parker Badding provides spark during second half of season


As the UNK men’s basketball season has progressed, redshirt junior Parker Badding has seen his impact on the team dramatically increase. During Badding’s first three years with the Lopers he was a solid role player, but in the second half of the 2021-22 season he has proved to be a vital piece to the team’s success.

Badding has started in four of the last five games for the Lopers, who are 11-15 on the season. UNK is 3-1 in those four games.

“As the season’s went on, my role has kinda gotten bigger and bigger,” Badding said. “Just accepting that and being confident in my ability is really important, because if you’re not confident in yourself then you won’t be out there for very long.”

The 6-foot-2 shooting guard’s time coming off the bench for the Lopers helped him develop a winning mentality that has shaped him into the player he is now.

“It’s important to come in every day focused and with an attitude as if you’re a starter,” Badding said. “If you ever lose that mentality, that’s when you’ll start to lose focus and start to play worse. Just knowing that you have to come in every day prepared that you’re going to play really helps me a lot.”

Over the first 12 games this season, Badding averaged eight minutes and three points per game. Over the last 13 games, he has averaged 28 minutes and 14 points per game, with two 20-plus point performances.

One of those 20-point outings came on Jan. 8 at home against Central Missouri, when Badding put up 29 points in 30 minutes on 10-15 shooting.

“Being able to come out and make six threes in the first half and go 7-10 in a game is pretty cool,” Badding said. “It just made me really happy to see my hard work finally paying off.”

This was Badding’s breakout performance for the Lopers and while he is proud of his recent accomplishments, he still has a team-first approach.

“I just try to go out every single game and do what the team needs me to do to win,” Badding said. “Whether that’s playing defense on one of their better scorers or if one night maybe they need me to shoot well if I come off the bench.”

Badding’s time spent working on his craft has allowed him to earn more recognition from teammates and coaches, leading to his increased role on the team this season.

“Just being confident in my ability and then along with getting lots of shots up outside of practice, I’ve been really blessed to be able to see it come through into fruition in the games,” Badding said.

Badding is majoring in construction management and plans to graduate this spring. While he still has two years of eligibility remaining, he has decided to forgo them to begin the next chapter of his life after this season. 

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KEVIN BURD, Sports Edior
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