African American History Month - Week Three

African American History Month - Week Three
Posted on 02/17/2021
African American History Month - Week ThreeBetty Booker-Parks, one of eleven children, was born and raised in Hampshire, Tennessee. She attended Hampshire High School, where she excelled in basketball.

Booker-Parks received an athletic scholarship to attend Memphis State University. She continued to excel on and off the court at Memphis State, where she set several records that she still holds. During her collegiate athletic career, she averaged 20.7 points per game and scored 2,835 points during her career. She is the all-time leading scorer for both women and men at Memphis State University (now called the University of Memphis.) 

Following her career at Memphis State, Booker-Parks was first round draft choice in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, where she averaged 10 points a game. She was inducted into the Memphis State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.

In 1994, Booker Parks was selected to play for the newly formed Memphis Blues professional baseball team. During that same year, the coach was unable to fulfill his coaching duties, so Booker-Parks took on the task of manager and coach and led the team to a second place finish.

In 2005, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame; and the Inaugural Class of the “Memphis Sports Hall of Fame” in October 2019. Booker-Parks’ other accomplishments include Memphis Living Legend Honoree, Administrator of the year finalist, “Best of the Prep” Coach of the Year, the “Joe Clark” Administrator Award, and one of the Shelby County 100 Most Inspiring Women. 
Betty Booker-Parks

After an outstanding athletic career, Booker-Parks taught sociology, health, and physical education at White Station High School. She also coached basketball, volleyball, and track. Her teams competed on the sub-state and state level. She served as assistant principal, as well as principal in the Shelby County School System. She currently serves as Vice-Principal for the Memphis Virtual School in the Shelby County School System.

Booker-Parks received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in education, and an Advanced Studies degree in administration and supervision. During her 30-year tenure, she has made a positive impact on the lives of many students, parents, and teachers.

Our thanks to Jo Ann McClellan, President & Founder of the African-American Heritage Society of Maury County for sharing this article, helping to recognize and celebrate African American Heritage month. 

These athletes and more are featured in the African American Heritage Society's 2021 History Calendar, "The World of Sports". Order form is available on Facebook: