You are looking live at Schollmaier Arena, site of today’s 2 p.m. game on ESPN and the home of the coolest court in the Big 12 — not coolest or even best arena … coolest court. I’d say, “Stop me if you’ve heard this,” but you’d stop me and I wouldn’t be able to say it, but TCU does just about everything right when it comes to things like this.
The school put $72 million into renovations, and it’s the same place but a truly different place, if that makes sense. Part of the overhaul was this court. The frog skin design wins the day, but don’t sleep on the 3-point line. Blood red because horned frogs — these things — shoot blood out of their eyes when threatened.
Please don’t threaten horned frogs, though. That would upset Brandon Parrish, TCU’s senior guard and one of the very best characters in the Big 12. He spent 10 days over the summer on a class trip abroad to South Africa, because he wants to be the next Crocodile Hunter and eventually own a zoo to save species. He removed the tusks from a few rhinos to save them from poachers. He helped put a tracking device on an elephant. He transported two wildebeests to a different reserve. He even treated a cheetah’s injured paw.
Parrish has a passion. He also has a pet bearded dragon named Quavo. His roommate has a husky. Not quite cats and dogs, but you get the point. “I don’t really trust the husky around my bearded,” Parrish said. “He’s my top priority. If my bearded ended up dead because the husky wanted a chew toy, that would not be a good thing for me.”
Quavo is in many ways a perfect pet and a perfect representation of Parrish’s goals.
“When he was really young, he used to eat live crickets,” Parrish said. “I’d put them in there, and he’d eat them immediately. When he got older, they’d be in there chirping, and I was like, ‘OK, so he’s done with crickets.’ Now I feed him meal worms, but he eats vegetables.
“I feed him strawberries here and there, blueberries every so often, but mainly it’s collard greens.”He’s partial to the bearded dragon because it’s not easily understood. Some might cringe at the idea of keeping one as a pet, but Parrish cringes at that apprehension.
“I hate it when people fear wildlife because they don’t really know,” he said. “If I can be a bridge between not knowing and learning, my life purpose would be fulfilled. That’s why I want to be the next Crocodile Hunter. I want a chance to be out on that pedestal and touch so many people and help them learn.”
Let me help you learn about today’s game.