Watch List: Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker is a winner.
Just take a look at his high school basketball team at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, which won four consecutive state championships led by Parker.
In 2012, he became the first non-senior to win the Illinois Mr. Basketball award. In 2013, he became the first to take home the trophy twice.
Duke’s head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski once again brings in an elite recruiting class to Durham, and Parker is the star. A 6-foot-8 small forward with the savvy smarts to play down low but the shot to play on the perimeter, he figures to be a dynamic threat from day one for the Blue Devils. Fellow top recruits Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye should help too.
Parker, the son of former NBA player Sonny Parker, is unanimously considered one of the top-two players in the 2013 recruiting class. He shares that honor with Andrew Wiggins, who passed Parker in many rankings last summer while Parker dealt with a foot injury and Wiggins reclassified his high school graduation year from 2014 to 2013.
But Parker’s accolades and attitude are unmatched. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline, “The best high school basketball player since LeBron James is… Jabari Parker.” Beneath his name in bold black letters, “But there’s something more important to him than NBA stardom: his faith.”
Parker is regularly praised not only for his silky smooth jump shot and seasoned post moves, but also his devout commitment to the Church of Latter-day Saints.He is also a devoted student who has always sported a top-notch GPA. So even though most players of his talent are sure-fire one-and-dones to the NBA, there’s a chance he could hang around in the Duke Class of 2017 for at least a couple years.