Recently ending his recruitment and committing to Duke, Jabari Parker—the No. 2 player in the class of 2013—can focus on getting healthy, finding his groove on the hardwood and leading his high school team—Simeon Career Academy (Chicago)—to a fourth-straight state title.
Coming off of foot surgery this summer that kept him on the shelf for months, the 6-foot-8 small forward looked far from prime form a few weeks ago when Simeon was upset by Duke signee Matt Jones' DeSoto (Tex.) team on ESPN. After that loss, Parker sat out of Simeon's next game to allow his foot to heal.
Playing for the first time since giving his pledge to Duke, Parker appeared to be closer to his old self, helping Simeon win the Pontiac Holiday tournament. In the quarter final game, Parker finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The next night in the semifinals he netted 16 points and seven rebounds. Earning tournament MVP honors for the third year in a row, Parker tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds in the championship on Saturday.
Here are some highlights of Parker from this past weekend:
On Jan. 5, Simeon will face nationally ranked Montverde (Fla.), which will be televised on ESPN2.
And a few weeks later on Jan. 21, Simeon will play perennial prep basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy on ESPNU.
Duke signee Matt Jones was in the Triangle area last week as DeSoto competed in the Holiday invitational tournament at Raleigh's Broughton high school. Like his future teammate Parker, Jones earned MVP honors and led his team to a tournament championship.
Jones scored 17 points to help DeSoto beat Kinston (N.C.) 57-50 in the first round.
Facing future N.C. State floor general Anthony "Cat" Barber of Hampton (Va.) in the semifinals, Jones led DeSoto to a 46-34 win, scoring 18 points. Barber—a one-time Duke prospect—finished with 19 points.
In the finals, DeSoto eked out a 45-42 victory against St. Joseph’s (N.J.), who is led by 2014 Kentucky commit Karl Towns Jr—the No. 3 player in the class of 2014 according to ESPN. Jones had nine points in the game and Towns—who picked the Wildcats over Duke earlier this month—finished with 13 points.
Members of the Duke coaching staff were on hand for each of Jones' games.
According to Jay Jenson of Prep Hoops TV, Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski was in Mich. Sunday night to watch Jaksic play.