Buffalo Island Central Lady Mustang Hayley Parker was the honoree on Thursday as she signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, Mo.
Her high school coach Stan Fowler shared memories of Hayley's high school career.
"She is the model of hard work, dedication and work ethics," Coach Fowler said. "We like it when good things happen to good people. Athletics teaches about life. Players learn how to handle the good and the bad. We have had Callie Brooks sign to play softball with Williams Baptist and the Roddy twins sign to play golf at Monticello and now we have Hayley Parker. She is a model of hard work and dedication."
Coach Fowler went on to praise Hayley for her academics as well as her athletics. Hayley has a 3.5 grade point average.
"Because of her hard work in the classroom and the court she is now going to play basketball at college," Coach Fowler said. "Because of her work ethic, she will be able to do anything she puts her mind to. Since her eighth grade year Hayley ahs a record of 148 wins and only 31 losses."
Coach Fowler also praised her parents for their support through the years.
"Missouri Baptist University is getting a special kid," Coach Fowler said. "Parker, you go and make us proud."
Coach Iris Dixon was on hand for Thursday's signing commenting the Lady Spartans are thrilled to have a player who takes care of business on and off the court.
"We are honored top have an individual gifted in athletics and academics," Coach Dixon said. "We are like an extended family at Missouri Baptist. We strive to instill in our players to get an education that will last them an entire lifetime."
Coach Dixon invited everyone up to watch her play.
Missouri Baptist plays in the American Midwest Conference along with Williams Baptist University. Parker said she is looking forward to returning to Northeast Arkansas to play basketball.
Also attending the reception was Missouri Baptist University assistant coach Brittany Imig.
Hayley stood before her peers thanking everyone for supporting her through the years.
"I want to thank God, my parents, Coach Fowler, who is like a father to each of us, Brandon Ballard for helping coach me, the community, and my teammates," Hayley said. "My teammates are my friends, my sisters. They have always been there for me."
Hayley plans to go into exercise science/physical therapy.
Hayley, the daughter of Bud and Lisa Parker, said she is looking forward to attending Missouri Baptist. She said she had waned to play basketball in college her entire life and had looked at Missouri Baptist for its academics and is happy to be able to continue her basketball career.
Her teammates and family enjoyed a reception following the signing.