Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Posted: 8:43 a.m.
By Jake Flannigan
Jabari Parker has major star power.
Theres no denying this fact after a multitude of the countrys elite college basketball coaches flocked to Simeon High School to see the nations top ranked junior perform at an open gym with his high school teammates on Tuesday.
Michigan States Tom Izzo, Kansas Bill Self, North Carolinas Roy Williams, Illinois Bruce Weber and DePauls Oliver Purnell were all in attendance. But, it was the most successful coach of them all, Dukes Mike Krzyzewski, who made the biggest statement. Scout.coms Evan Daniels claims Coach K and two of his top assistants arrived at the airport and then rolled through Chicagos South Side in a stylish limousine.
Thats one giant non-subtle way of saying Hello Jabari, were here.
Krzyewskis last hand-picked Illinois hoops standout Jon Scheyer played a key role in guiding the Blue Devils to an impressive fourth national championship in 2010. So, is Coach K back in his own hometown to lay claim on another one of the states top prizes? Only time will tell, but now its known that Duke is at the table and theyre a serious player.
Sure there is a ton of hype surrounding Parker. This is the recruiting game were talking about here. But, the Simeon star is not a flashy, offense-only type of prospect. He is actually the polar opposite of that very type of player. Words like smooth, unselfish, creative and opportunistic better suit the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Parker.
The skilled small forward got to show off his improved game after a summer highlighted by being named tournament MVP in Team USAs gold medal win over Brazil at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Cancun, Mexico. Parker also netted breakout performances at the Nike Peach Jam and LeBron James Skills Academy while suiting up for the Mac Irvin Fire AAU team.
Now the gifted Chicago native must shift his focus back to the state of Illinois and the Wolverines, who have won Class 4A state titles in each of Parkers first two prep seasons. This years team could prove to be the best yet for head coach Robert Smith with returning contributors Steve Taylor, Kendrick Nunn, Kendall Pollard and Jaylon Tate among others.
The hoops world may still be waiting with baited breath for some time before Parker makes his college choice. But thats expected. Its not supposed to be easy to catch a shooting star.