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Jabari Parker isn’t taking calls; coaches take note

Gatorade Player of Year

The photo provided by Gatorade shows Jabari Parker, left, of Simeon Career Academy, getting basketball tips from former NBA Champion Alonzo Mourning, after Parker was named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Thursday, April 12, 2012 in Chicago, IL. Parker was surprised with the news in Spanish class by Mourning, who earned Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors in 1987-88. (AP Photo/Gatorade,Susan Goldman)


Jabari Parker is devoted to the concept of being a normal teenager while spending his days as the nations most sought-after high school basketball player.

Earlier this month, his father -- former NBA player Sonny Parker -- told Scott Powers of ESPNChicago that his son would not be fielding as many interview requests from media members as most. Reporters aren’t the only people that Jabari won’t be picking up the phone for, however.

College coaches, too.

While the NCAA will finally allow coaches to call and text a recruit as much as they like, it is the parents of said recruit that the coaches will now have to deal with:

Parker remains off limits. His parents, Sonny and Lola Parker, do not permit college coaches to contact Parker directly. They must call or text them.

“Everybody doing their job, but they still can’t have Jabari’s number,” Sonny said on Tuesday. “That ain’t changed.

“We want him to enjoy being who he is. If he wants to talk, we’ll ask him first. Right now, we don’t want him to be over-bombarded because coaches can sometimes be aggressive, and that can be overwhelming.”

Sonny said all of the coaches have stuck to the rules and have not attempted to contact Parker directly. Just in case, though, Parker did change his number recently.

“It’s okay,” Sonny said of the new NCAA rules. “It’s how you handle it. Don’t get overwhelmed, don’t get caught up. They have to do their job. We’re doing our job.”

And therein lies the subtlety of the new contact rules.

Being allowed to contact recruits all day, every day is great until those recruits are sick of fielding calls and answering texts all day, every day.

Learning how to maintain contact without becoming overbearing, needy and annoying will become one of the most valuable skills a basketball coach can have.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.