TCU’s Parrish recognized by Big 12 for off-court efforts

TCU guard Brandon Parrish, a nominee for the 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works team, will be the featured athlete in this week’s “Big 12 Champions for Life” campaign that showcases success stories of college athletes on and off the field. The testimonial about Parrish will run during Big 12 telecasts, including those that are aired during Wednesday’s game between the Horned Frogs (17-8, 6-6 in Big 12) and Oklahoma State (16-9, 5-7). The 8 p.m. contest will be televised by ESPNU.

Parrish, a senior from Arlington Seguin, is pursuing a double-major at TCU and working toward degrees in environmental science and biology. An animal enthusiast, he took part in a school program last summer that allowed him to travel to South Africa and help research and interact with animals. The primary focus was animal conservation, particularly with rhinos.

“I got a chance to go over there and be a part of something bigger than myself. That really warms my heart. Animals have always been my first passion,” Parrish said during a recent interview. “To be over there and have a hands-on experience with rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, wildebeests … it was really a dream come true for me. I’ve always wanted to have a voice for something that can’t speak. I just feel a different bond.”

Because rhino horns are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up hair and fingernails in humans, the animals often fall victim to poachers because a large horn can command more than $100,000 on the illegal resale market.

Parrish is averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this season.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch