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Duke lands top recruit Parker

Posted December 20, 2012

Prized prospect Jabari Parker of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, one of the most highly touted recruits in years, is headed to Duke

With a national TV audience watching, he announced his decision at a news conference Thursday at his high school.

Parker can't sign his letter of intent until April 17, but he made his intentions clear with one highly anticipated oral commitment.

Michigan State and Florida, also made his top three, but he chose to play for Mike Krzyzewski for at least a year before making what many believe will ultimately be a jump to the NBA.

"Coach K is one of the best coaches ever," Parker said. "He's Coach K, he's the guru of all basketball."

At 6-foot-8 and with the ability to nail jumpers from just about any spot when he's not throwing down ferocious dunks, it's easy to see why just about every major program was interested in him.

Parker just might be the greatest prospect to come out of Simeon, and that's saying something considering Derrick Rose played there. All he did was go on to become the MVP with the hometown Bulls.

As for Parker, his credentials to this point sure are impressive.

He received the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year award after leading Simeon to its third straight state championship while averaging 19.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a junior.

His father Sonny played six seasons with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA after starring at Chicago's Farragut Career Academy.

"He has a gift and he has what's called 'It'," Sonny Parker said. Duke Logo More Duke Stories

Religion also plays a big role in Jabari's life. He is a devout Mormon, just like his mom Lola, and he has talked about going on a mission. He also said Thursday he wants to get his degree.

Whether he actually does either remains to be seen, but he knows where he's headed next year barring a change of heart. With that decision out of the way, he can focus on leading Simeon to another state title and getting his conditioning back after being slowed by a broken right foot.

The injury over the summer caused him to push back some recruiting trips and delay his decision rather than commit during the early signing period last month. He's also missed a game this week because he's trying to work his way back from the injury, an obstacle for a player rarely stopped on the court, but this moment was years in the making.

Lola Parker recalled in an interview at the family's house earlier this year that she could see it when Jabari, the youngest of seven children, was in the second grade going against the fourth and fifth-graders in a league run by Sonny, who established a foundation to help inner-city youth in Chicago after he retired.

Scholarship offers started rolling in when Jabari was in the sixth grade. They came from Illinois, Brigham Young, Washington, Purdue and Kansas. UCLA started showing interest, too, and by the time he was in high school, just about everyone was offering.

They all wanted a piece of him, and it wasn't just the colleges. Fans mob Parker at games, screaming his name and begging for autographs, and often, they're not even from Simeon.

They've seen him on TV or online and just want their brush with him. Usually, he'll accommodate them, but sometimes, he needs an escape.

He finds one in religion. That means rising several days a week at 5 a.m. for Bible study and heading from the family's brick bungalow on the city's South Side to worship a few miles away, near the University of Chicago.

The day of the interview at the house earlier this year, there was a reminder on Jabari's door to "put the Lord first" along with several sheets of 8-by-10 white paper. One listed the Ten Commandments, the other personal rules such as "don't be quick to judge" and "Think positive things."

For now, big things are happening for Parker.

71 Comments

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  • The Greatest Ever May 17, 11:00 p.m.

    SMH!! He sux as well as Dook!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 21, 9:40 p.m.

    this is ok i guess. not like the good ole days when u signed a recruit and you knew he was... View More

    — Posted by sportsnut10s

    tell us why they shut down the Dixie Classic

    — Posted by uncsuckz

    I believe it was due to point shaving, but I think you knew that already:)

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 21, 9:38 p.m.

    I remember the "Big Four Tournament"; listening to it in class in elementary nad... View More

    — Posted by CAROLINA43

    You speak of the "good old days" for sure. I have a friend who went to Millbrook HS, and they used to roll TV's into classrooms for the ACC Tourney. I understand times have changed, but it sure was fun when time stood still for basketball:)

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 21, 9:36 p.m.

    Nice "get" for K... and you guys can thank Gott for not offering. :)

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    If so then let me be the first to say thank you MG.

    — Posted by MoDuke v2 is gone

    :)

    What's with the "v2" in your user name? Did the WRAL ban-Nazis get you, too?... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    Yup. It seems someone there got trigger happy and shot me down.
    Luckily it only grazed the... View More

    — Posted by MoDuke v2 is gone

    I've never seen you post anything worthy of a banning, MO. Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm". At any rate, glad to see V2 here:)

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 21, 9:27 p.m.

    Of course thats if he doesnt get arrested between now and when he shows up for his 1 and done... View More

    — Posted by takeabathgreg

    Someone "runtover" your brain.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 21, 9:26 p.m.

    Coach K is a great coach, and great person. The way he got the NBA superstars to play together... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    I will gladly give credit where it's due, and I do "give the Devil his due":) Seriously, K is a great coach, and has achieved the highest goals at the Olympic and collegiate levels. Winning TWO Olympic Gold medals is huge, and when I saw him put the USA above Duke, well, that's something I'll never forget and will always appreciate.

  • heelsforever Dec 21, 8:09 p.m.

    Of course thats if he doesnt get arrested between now and when he shows up for his 1 and done... View More

    — Posted by takeabathgreg

    Jabari is a good kid. He will NOT be involved in any criminal activity. Do us all a favor and delete your post please.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Dec 21, 6:53 p.m.

    Nice "get" for K... and you guys can thank Gott for not offering. :)

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    If so then let me be the first to say thank you MG.

    — Posted by MoDuke v2 is gone

    :)

    What's with the "v2" in your user name? Did the WRAL ban-Nazis get you, too?... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    Yup. It seems someone there got trigger happy and shot me down.
    Luckily it only grazed the... View More

    — Posted by MoDuke v2 is gone

    Haha! Welcome back!

    Why does WRAL even bother with bans? We all just come back with a vengeance!

  • uncsuckz Dec 21, 3:26 p.m.

    this is ok i guess. not like the good ole days when u signed a recruit and you knew he was... View More

    — Posted by sportsnut10s

    tell us why they shut down the Dixie Classic

  • uncsuckz Dec 21, 3:24 p.m.

    Really hope UNC lands Wiggins now... The only issue I see is that FSU has pull b/c both his... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    he will go to Kentucky

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