Recent Duke commit Jabari Parker and top Duke prospect Jahlil Okafor each came into the Cancer Research Classic this past week with the goal of making a statement. It’s safe to say that they both achieved their goals.
Parker who is still working to return to full strength after a foot injury that sidelined him for five months, undoubtedly had something to prove after a disappointing performance on national television earlier in the season against De Soto and fellow 2013 Duke commit Matt Jones. Although the poor play against DeSoto was understandable, with a severely put of shape Parker attempting to rebound from the injury by playing himself into shape, it still hurts to underperform in a game on national television where all eyes are on you.
Parker has since shed 20 pounds of extra weight that he had gained while sitting out with his injury. Closer to being himself on the court but still not 100%, Parker bounced back in the Classic with 17 points and 13 rebounds in a losing effort against top ranked Montverde Academy. Parker showed signs of his pre-jury self with a barrage of three pointers in the first quarter, several big blocks and two explosive put back dunks.
Jahlil Okafor, a top 2014 Duke target had a dominating performance in the Classic against Neumann Goretti, pouring in 32 points and pulling down 11 boards, leading his Whitney Young team to victory. Okafor absolutely owned the paint, taking apart the defense with skilled moves in the post and showcasing his athleticism with numerous powerful dunks.
By Taylor Ostrick
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