Christmas will come early for one of the five two programs involved with Simeon Career Academy’s Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2013. According to reports by the Chicago Sun-Times and USA Today, Parker will announce his highly anticipated collegiate decision on Thursday, December 20.
The 6’8” small forward is considering BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford but the consensus view it as a two-team race between the Blue Devils and Spartans, including his father and Chicago basketball icon Sonny Parker.
“He hasn’t told me where,” Sonny Parker told USA Today. “I didn’t ask him. It’s kind of hard to say. He’s liked all the schools we’ve visited. He’s hard to read sometimes. He keeps things to himself, so I don’t put any pressure on him. I think it will probably be between Duke and Michigan State. That’s what I’m thinking.”
If the call is for Duke, then that will all but wrap up the 2013 recruiting class for the Blue Devils as they hold two commitments from shooting guard Matthew Jones and small forward Semilore Ojeleye. Rodney Hood, a 6’8” small forward transfer from Mississippi State who is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, will be eligible next season for the Blue Devils as well. Michigan State currently has zero commitments from the class of 2013.
While his recruitment is in it’s final stages, Parker is also slowly recovering from a summer injury that has hindered him out of shape at the beginning of his personal quest to lead Simeon to their fourth consecutive state championship. On the shelf since July, Parker made a surprise return to the court on December 1 for Simeon’s season-opener at the Chicago Elite Classic. Playing just 11 minutes, Parker contributed six points, four rebounds and two assists in a victory over Milton High School (Georgia). Parker and Simeon will travel to Texas this Thursday to meet Duke signee Matthew Jones and DeSoto (Texas) as part of the 2012-13 GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and members of the coaching staff are expected to be on hand.
The reputation that Parker has established not only in the state of Illinois but also nationally throughout the years is legendary. He has won three state titles, multiple player of the year awards, regarded as the most heralded recruit in the state of Illinois since Simeon legend Benji Wilson and proclaimed as “The best high school player since LeBron James” in a May cover issue of Sports Illustrated. Those accolades and high praise is what draws the likes of Duke and Michigan State to feverishly pursue such an outstanding prospect. On December 20 the wait will finally be over, as one school will gain a monumental piece to their basketball program while the other will be left severely let down.
By Chad Lykins