Retirees Association

DDN: Ernsthausen a big factor in Raiders’ success ... just don’t ask him to dunk

Parker Ernsthausen

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

The 6-foot-11 senior rose above the rim and thought about jamming the ball with authority before backing off and settling for a layup.

The Vikings called a timeout after the play, and his teammates were quick to give him grief, playfully shoving him in the huddle over taking the less-entertaining route. Ernsthausen could only break out into a sheepish grin.

Of his 545 career points, including a season-high 14 against Cleveland State, none have come on dunks. And that’s not likely to change.

“I don’t know if I have a mental block or what,” he said during the post-game interview with guard Mark Hughes by his side. “That probably was my opportunity. I’ve had maybe two or three real chances. Mark threw it to me on a fast break last year where I should’ve dunked.

“That was a great pass (by Gentry). It would have been a top play. But two points is two points.”

Hughes wasn’t going to let his teammate off the hook that easily.

Asked what he would have done, the high-leaping senior said, “It would have gotten freaky.”

Ernsthausen then shot back, “Mark probably would have put his hand in the cookie jar. But that may have been a technical afterward.”

No one is complaining, though, that Ernsthausen isn’t among the Raiders who do much of their work above the rim. He’s too valuable elsewhere.

“Parker is playing great,” coach Scott Nagy said. “It’s all the other stuff that people really don’t recognize — his communication and his leadership have been phenomenal. He’s the one positive guy we had when things weren’t going well, and he’s the smartest defender we have.”