Deep in the South Side of Chicago sits Simeon Career Academy, a vocational school that has helped churn out graduates with skill sets that are able to enter the labor force. One of its recent graduates, Derrick Rose, was just named the youngest MVP of the NBA.
Jabari Parker, a 6’7″ 215 lb sophomore forward at the school, has accomplished something that even Rose didn’t: he’s started every game of his high school career. This past March, the multifaceted sophomore, who last year was named ESPN Rise’s National Freshman of the Year, lead Simeon to a 48-39 victory over Warren for its second consecutive and fifth overall state title.
Chicago is called the City of Big Shoulders. If following in the footsteps of the MVP might be too much of a burden to some, it’s not to the soft spoken Parker. The Parker name carries a lot of weight in Chicago, where his father, Robert “Sonny” Parker, has tried to give back to the community that helped raise him.
His dad, Sonny, was an all-state player over at Farragut, the alma mater of Kevin Garnett. Mr. Parker then became a Junior College All-American at Mineral College and spent his last two years in College Station at Texas A&M, where he was named the Southwest Conference Player of the Year. After graduating, he became a first round draft pick in 1976 of the Golden State Warriors, where he played in the Bay Area for his entire six-year NBA career.
In 1990, he began the Chicago-based Sonny Parker Youth Foundation, a non-profit which seeks to offer year-round recreational and educational after-school programs for Chicago kids in grades K-12, in order to provide alternatives to gang and drug-related violence that still plagues parts of the Windy City. In the mid-90s, the altruistic Mr. Parker would have the last of his seven children, Jabari, who likely will turn out to be the best basketball player of his scion and a future contributor to the legacy of his foundation.
A 3.5 student, Jabari Parker, is very demanding of himself on and off of the court, but feels that his Mormon faith has kept him grounded, as others have tried to tout him as the next great one. Looking for a demanding college coach that will treat him the same as his teammates, the versatile Parker traveled to Durham this past winter to catch a Duke game with Shabazz Muhammad. The 2013 prospect has spoken with Duke coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Nate James and appreciates their straightforward approach.
In April, Jabari visited the University of Washington, where reportedly Coach Romar, a former Golden State Warrior teammate of Sonny Parker, is interested in hiring his older brother, Christian.
At a recent AAU tournament, the gracious Jabari Parker, who now plays with Nike’s Mac Irvin Fire, spoke at length exclusively with Blue Devil Nation.
Which schools are recruiting you?
The full list?
Well, as many as you want to mention.
Sure, Duke, Kansas, Washington, Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, DePaul, Providence, Florida and that’s it, really.
Note – I have never seen a more in depth, informative and concise interview with a player of major interest to Duke fans as this Jabari Parker interview conducted by BDN Recruiting Analyst Andrew Slater. You will be a flat out expert on Parker by the time you read this 3264 word interview and learn about a key prospect In short, join BDN Premium. And folks, we are just scratching the surface on warm ball recruiting coverage! Once you are a member and finish this article, you can then jump to the latest on Alex Poythress and Tony Parker and there is more to come. And remember, this interview is exclusive, meaning you will not find it elsewhere nor will you see well studied questions designed to bring you up close and personal, BDN style. – Mark Watson
That’s plenty. Do you have a timeline for when you’d like to decide by?
I’m going to
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