Elks senior Parker Behne and the rest of his Elk River teammates are off to a 3-1 start for the first time since 2015-16.

So far in 2021-22, Behne leds the Elks with 104 points in four games, averaging 26 points per game. In the Elks season-opening win over Cambridge-Isanti on Friday, Dec. 3 at Elk River High School, he scored 32 points and had two rebounds, two assists and four steals. Behne shot 13 of 17 for the game and 7-10 from three-point line (2 off school record) in only 23 minutes of action.

Behne played with his brother Carter during the 2019-20 season. Carter is a 2020 alumnus of Elk River High School. Parker has been playing basketball since he was a third grader. Parker said he describes himself as a shooter, who likes to find the open court for shots.

Parker said he’s trusting his teammates to be successful during the 2021-22 season.

“We’re playing well and we’re moving well, together,” he said. “My teammates are setting me up [well],” he said. “A lot of credit goes to them for my hot start. We want to continue this.”

Growing up, Parker’s favorite teams were the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Golden Gophers mens basketball team. During his childhood and early adolescence, his favorite players were former Timberwolves center Kevin Love, who now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers and won an NBA championship in 2016 with the Cavaliers. He also enjoyed watching former Wolves guard Luke Ridnour, who is now retired. As of the 2021-22 season, Parker’s favorite players are Timberwolves guards Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell and center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Parker said Elks head coach Ryan Servaty, who himself played on the Elks varsity basketball team and is a 2002 graduate of Elk River High School, said Servaty has been a great coach for him over the past three seasons.

“We do a quote every day,” Parker said. “It’s always about life. He’s been great just teaching us about life and making us good individuals, not just in basketball but in life.”

Academically, Parker’s favorite course is geography. He said he enjoys learning about the environment and the world. Parker will play for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul beginning with the 2022-23 season. He is undecided about a major, but he is leaning towards a field of engineering or accounting.

“I liked the campus when I went there,” he said. “I met some of the basketball players there. They were nice. I like the [head] coach [Tim Grosz]. He recruited me hard to come there. That’s the main reason.”

Servaty said Parker is committed to basketball not only during the season, but before it as well.

“His committment to the game, his relentlessness to get better and overall attitude with helping to want to make a big impact in our program and help change the previous few years of results has shown in his work ethic, his leadership,” “You knew based on what you had been seeing all season long and into the start of this year that he was destined to have a big time senior season. It’s started out that way.”

Servaty said he’s coached Parker in all but one season since his sixth grade 2015-16 season.

“He’s a strong Christian kid,” he said. “He’s very down to earth, very level headed. A soft-spoken leader; leads a lot by example in terms of how hard he works. A respectful kid. In the last year, he was a captain for us last year as a junior as well. In the last year, you really see him quietly turn into a strong leader in our program. He reaches out and connects with all kids in our program. In practices, he’ll jump in and help the younger kids understand whatever drill it is we’re doing. He’s a super kid to be around.”

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