Thursday, the Ohio State women’s basketball team received a boost in their roster, adding a second athlete out of the transfer portal. This time, head coach Kevin McGuff gets a 6-foot-3 forward from the Michigan State Spartans: Taiyier Parks. The forward announced it on her Instagram page.
Parks joins the Buckeyes’ program following four seasons with the Spartans. In those years, Parks averaged 7.1 points and 5.5 rebounds, mainly playing as an off the bench spark for former Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant, who resigned following the end of the 22-23 season.
Last season, Parks started 11 games, averaging 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.5 minutes played per game. Parks joins a forward group that coach McGuff referenced at the beginning of the 22-23 season as an area where the team needed more depth.
The Buckeyes did add transfers in Eboni Walker and Karla Vreš, with Walker playing an important role for Ohio State down the postseason stretch. Walker moved into the starting position following an injury to forward Rebeka Mikulášiková on Feb. 8 against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
With Parks, Walker and Mikulášiková have competition for minutes in the paint. Last season, in an upset win for Sparty against the Indiana Hoosiers, Parks had one of the strongest games of her career, scoring 18 points and grabbing 8 assists in the Michigan State win.
Parks didn’t play against Ohio State in the lone meeting between the sides on Dec. 11, 2022, but has had success in previous seasons against her now teammates.
During the 21-22 season, Parks and the Spartans tried spoiling the Buckeyes regular season championship on the final game of the regular season. Even though Ohio State came out victorious, Parks put up 15 points and 12 rebounds, eight of those coming on offensive boards.
In the 22-23 season, Parks was 25th in the conference in overall rebounds (152) and rebounds per game (5.2) and in the 21-22 season was 14th and 12th, respectively. Off the court, Parks excels in the classroom, achieving Academic All-Big Ten honors in two straight seasons.
Ohio State’s new forward played high school basketball at North Royalton High School, a suburb in Cleveland, Ohio. Following high school, Parks considered the Buckeyes and Iowa Hawkeyes as potential landing spots as a four-star recruit, ultimately going with the Spartans.
Parks joins former Duke guard Celeste Taylor as the second pick up for McGuff and the Buckeyes in the transfer portal this offseason. With the Cleveland-native’s move, Ohio State has Walker, Mikulášiková and incoming freshman Faith Carson competing for what’s likely a single starting role next to forward Cotie McMahon, should Mikulášiková and Walker return to the Buckeyes.
As of publishing, there’s been no official word of their return and using their extra year given to students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If they do, they’ll join Parks in playing five collegiate seasons.