Cassie Mattia is the Associate Editor of Loveland Magazine and lives in Historic Downtown

Loveland, Ohio – It has been a sad week for the Loveland High School Tiger Family as Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Darnell Parker, announced that he has been diagnosed with Colon and Liver Cancer.

Coach Parker made the devastating announcement over Twitter on October 29th and almost immediately the Loveland community rallied together to root him on in his battle with cancer. Below is the announcement Coach Parker made a little over one week ago.

Originally tweeted by Darnell Parker (@CoachDParker) on Oct 29, 2020.

Thank you all in advance for your Prayers and Support! I know I can’t respond to everyone but just know it’s appreciated!


Coach Parker has not been the only one to remain positive after being diagnosed with Colon and Liver Cancer; the support from the Loveland community and many others across Ohio has been outstanding! Below are just a few of the tweets that have been dedicated to Coach Parker’s post-cancer announcement.

It’s no secret that Coach Parker has not only done a lot for Loveland High School but has also succeeded in developing an unbelievable Women’s Basketball program, breaking several school records along the way. Click below to read about Coach Parker’s stellar coaching career and his 100 win milestone!

Coach Parker has touched the lives of everyone he has surrounded himself with including myself. The first meeting I had with Coach Parker and his Tiger basketball team was last year when I decided to do a feature on-camera interview with him, his coaching staff, and the women’s basketball team. I remember walking into the gym excited to feature a Tiger women’s team that was kicking butt and taking names! Last year the women’s basketball team had one of their most successful seasons in history and of course, it had something to do with the talent Coach Parker had on his team but it had more to do with Coach Parker’s “ourway” philosophy. Below is the interview I conducted on that very special day!

The passion, the excitement, and the heart Coach Parker displayed the first day I interacted with him inspired me to the core. I remember asking Coach Parker why he created the #ourway and his response made me want to join the Tiger women’s basketball team myself! He told me that he didn’t want the Tiger program to mimic any other program, he wanted to do things their way. Coach Parker wanted his team to stand out through the way they played and through the way they carried themselves off the court and in school. I loved his mentality. His tenacity honestly reminded me of my own experience of playing basketball for my father which is saying something because I consider my father one of the best coaches around.

My next encounter with Coach Parker other than through emails as I always made sure I kept him up-to-date on any articles featuring him and his Tigers, was when the women’s team faced Mount Notre Dame for the 2019 District Title at Princeton High School. Although I had heard about Coach Parker’s coaching style I had never experienced it in person. I was so impressed with how Coach Parker and his coaching staff were able to get the Tigers so focused while encouraging them to stay positive and just play the game they were born to play.

Unfortunately, the Tigers lost that day and of course, the players were upset but the one thing I noticed is that everyone including the fans, parents, and assistant coaching staff went directly up to Coach Parker gave him a big hug, and thanked him for his dedication to them and the game of basketball. That really spoke to me. The fact that the first thing everyone did after the loss was go up to Coach Parker to encourage and congratulate him on an outstanding season said to me that the Tiger community knew he gave the team and LHS his all regardless of the loss. Click below to read about the Tiger’s 2019 District Title run!

When I heard the news about Coach Parker and his battle with cancer my heart broke in two. Why does such an amazing human being have to go through so much pain? It just didn’t make sense to me. Then I read about the positive outlook Coach Parker decided to take on the entire situation. Wow what a selfless person. Instead of giving up on life, Coach Parker has decided to inspire others battling cancer through words of encouragement and sharing his own story. Although I am more than saddened by Coach Parker’s cancer diagnosis I know that he will do everything in his power to defeat cancer and spread love and kindness along the way!

Coach Parker, I want you to know that you have inspired me to not only be a better person but also spread positivity with a smile on my face regardless of what obstacles may be challenging me. I am here for you, your awesome family, and the Tiger’s Women’s Basketball Team, and I will do whatever I can to help you spread that cancer won’t defeat your spirit or dedication to the Loveland/Tiger community! We love you here at Loveland Magazine and we can’t wait to see how successful you will be in the near future!

Sincerely,

Cassie Mattia

Continue reading to see Loveland Magazine Editor in Chief, David Miller’s tribute to Coach Parker.

Dear Coach Parker,

You’ve become too much of a personal friend not to offer anything but, “Loveland Magazine is here for you to offer our support in any way we can.” You are more to me than just someone Loveland Magazine covers as a sports figure. I’ve come to love how you coach, always that big smile, always that grin, always that encouragement to your players. Even the prodding I see towards the officials is done with your natural good nature.

To Coach’s players… I am here for you too. Trying to put myself in your Nike’s is impossible because I have never been there, but I acknowledge how difficult this is for you. Loveland Magazine is here for you too!

Loveland Magazine is here for you… to help you all cut down this net too and we will be here to cover you cutting down many, many more!

With love and fighting spirit,

David Miller

SHARE
Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Associate Editor of Loveland Magazine.

Your comments can change our community

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.