April 15, 2021: Northern State (SD) standout Parker Fox announced that he will be committing to the University of Minnesota Thursday, as the Gophers roster begins to take shape.
–> By: Tony Liebert
Newly appointed Gophers head coach Ben Johnson continues to build his first roster; this time adding a commitment from Division two All-American Parker Fox. The Mahtomedi, Minn. native took to Twitter to announce his intentions to come home in a heart-warming video. The 6-foot-7-inch forward will have two years of eligibility remaining.
— Parker Fox (@Parkerfox24) April 16, 2021
Who is Parker Fox?:
Parker Fox is a lifelong Gophers fan, growing up in Mahtomedi, Minn. He was reportedly a court kid every year and would go to all the basketball, hockey and football games at the school. He was a bit under the radar in his high school basketball career not starting on the varsity team until his junior season with the Zephyrs. He played his AAU ball with the Minnesota Heat, with now teammate Sean Sutherlin. He would go on to put together a productive high school career, finishing as the Mahtomedi school record holder in points per game (22), points in a season (538), and points in one game (39). Off the basketball court, Fox was also a high jumper for the Zephyrs where he has reached the state tournament and set the conference record. Northern State was the only school at the D1 or D2 level to offer Fox, and he pounced at the opportunity.
The 6-foot-7 forward would redshirt his first season in Aberdeen, S.D. But the following year his game transitioned almost flawlessly to the D2 level, averaging 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game off of the bench for the Wolves. As a sophomore, he broke out, averaging a team-high 19.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He also shot a team-best 60.5% from the field and led the Wolves with 75 blocks from the wing position. He would then dominate as a junior in the 2020-21 season, averaging. 22.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 blocks a game. He would have two jaw-dropping performances, with 39 points and eight blocks vs. Moorhead, and 21 points and 21 rebounds vs. St. Cloud State. After earning All-American honors, Fox decided to enter the transfer portal.
After a reported 100+ programs contacted the high-flying wing, he opted to return home to play for the Gophers.
This is Ben Johnson’s biggest commitment yet. Do not let the level at which Fox played fool you, this guy has the talent to be a professional basketball player. His off-the-charts athleticism will give him the chance to play at any level that he wants to. Most Gophers fans are already writing the team in for the last place in the Big Ten next season, but I would say not so fast. They will certainly not compete for a championship, but I think this team might have the chance to compete in the middle of the conference if they can add more frontcourt depth. The biggest factor in this move is that Fox has two seasons of eligibility remaining giving the Gophers a great member of the team for 2022.
What is next?:
There was another big piece of Gophers hoops news Thursday, as Brandon Johnson announced that he will be entering his name into the NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility to return. With that being said, the Gophers’ roster is beginning to take serious shape.
Ben Johnson’s and the Gophers’ biggest need is now frontcourt depth, as Kenny Pohto could very easily not remain committed, leaving their only real post player as an 18-year-old freshman Treyton Thompson. North Dakota forward Filip Rebraca will likely be Johnson’s main target. Another guard name to watch out for will be Western Carolina graduate-senior Mason Faulkner who can fit the role of a more traditional point guard. As it stands today four opens scholarships remain and Ben Johnson’s first offseason is far from over.