Royce Parham leaves North Hills to play senior year at Ohio prep school

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Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 9:11 PM


One of the top high school basketball players in Pennsylvania is leaving the WPIAL and the state for his upcoming senior year.

North Hills junior Royce Parham is transferring to Western Reserve Academy, a prep school in Northeast Ohio.

The Marquette recruit said the idea of playing his high school basketball elsewhere is not a new one.

“We started looking at prep schools after my ninth-grade season,” Parham said. “We visited Westtown School (in West Chester). We spoke to IMG and Brewster Academy. Western Reserve only came into the picture within the past six to eight months.”

At 6-foot-8, Parham has been a big part of North Hills’ on-court success the last two years.

In 2022, North Hills was the No.1 seed in 6A WPIAL playoffs with an undefeated regular season. The Indians reached the district championship game but were upset by Fox Chapel, 43-36.

Following two PIAA playoff wins, the season ended for North Hills with a loss to Archbishop Wood in the state quarterfinals, 74-47. The Indians went 26-2.

This past winter, North Hills was favored again in Class 5A but loss to eventual champion Penn Hills in the WPIAL semifinals, 67-51.

The Indians’ season — and the North Hills playing career of Parham — ended in the first round of the PIAA playoffs in a 56-52 loss to Mechanicsburg.

The back-to-back section titles were a first in program history.

“Royce has been a big part of our success the past few years,” North Hill coach Buzz Gabos said. “We wish him nothing but success in the future. He has had an enormous impact on our program and the entire North Hills basketball community.”

Parham believes the move to Western Reserve Academy will help him prepare for the start of his collegiate career at Marquette.

“Better competition in practice and better competition in games,” he said. “I’ll be able to play off the block. They also have an athletic weight trainer that will work with me.”

The three-time all section player averaged nearly 30 points per game this past season.

While he believes the move will help his basketball career, Parham acknowledges it will be tough leaving his teammates and friends at North Hills.

“I’ll definitely miss them,” he said. “I’ve played with some of them since elementary school.”

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