Parker Kress inspires in improbable hoops debut

It's not everyday that a sophomore basketball game becomes a bigger story than the varsity game, but that's exactly what happened on Friday night when Pleasant Valley sophomore Parker Kress hit the hardwood.

Just eight months ago, the idea of Parker lacing up for a game was unthinkable.

A fight with cancer resulted in an infection in Parker's right leg and the ultimate decision to have the leg amputated in March.

"The day of the surgery, of course we were nervous. I think that just comes with the territory," said Kristin Dumser, Parker's mom. "After that there was nothing but smiles and he was ready to start working out again."

And that's exactly what Parker did.

With the help of Physical Therapist Matt Rokes, Parker hit the ground running.

"It's just who I am, I guess," said Parker. "I'm just always trying to smile and find the good in things, not the bad."

Once Parker received his prosthetic and began putting in the work, he turned his attention to the sport he loves.

Unsure that he was where he needed to be physically, Parker approached coach Brett Ahlgren, who welcomed Parker back to the team without hesitation.

"He looked at me with such confidence that I didn't even hesitate," said Ahlgren.

After clearing a few hurdles with the Iowa High School Athletic Association, Parker joined his fellow Spartans and wasted no time fitting right in.

"This kid is going for it," said Ahlgren. "He's not sitting to the side, he's not playing any cards. He's just going 100% all the time."

Parker saw playing time in his first high school game on Friday night, stopping at nothing to be a part of the game he loves and continuing to inspire an entire community.