LOS ANGELES – When scanning the country for the top hot beds of talent in hoops’ we often think of New York, Los Angeles, Indiana, the DMV area, and of course Chicago. Some of the biggest names in hoops have come from The Windy City such as current NBA finalist and NBA Champion Dwyane Wade, this year’s league MVP Derrick Rose, 12 time NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, Tim Hardaway and many more. Taking a look at the current crop of Chicago products and the future still looks bright for one of the hoops capitals of the country.
Who do we look to for that future? None other than 6’7 215 lb Jabari Parker of Simeon Career Academy. Though giant in stature, Parker is very friendly at heart, speaking very highly of his teammates and seemingly always willing to give others his time. Currently sitting at the top of his class, Jabari displays advanced skill for his age, a trait likely strengthened by the aid of his father, Sonny Parker , who spent some time in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors.
BDN was able to catch up with Jabari at the Nike EYBL Session #3 here in Los Angeles this past weekend.
BDN: I’m going to start with something a little different. You’ve got a pretty good freshman teammate in Jahlil Okafor (2014 6’10 255 lb from Whitney Young), tell me a bit about him.
JP: Oh yea he’s dominating right now even though he’s playing up, ya know. I think he’s the best player in the country as a freshman, playing up with the 17 year olds he’s showing a lot of dominance in the paint. He’s real good, he’s very fluent, he’s agile; he can run for his size, he can shoot.
Do you have any new schools involved recently? And who is heavily involved with you right now?
Lately I have had Mizzou and Utah St. that just offered me. Kansas, Duke, Washington, and Illinois are really coming at me hard.
Do you have any visits set up soon?
No, not really. I’m just trying to focus on this AAU circuit you know, and just really getting better.
After this event there is some time until the Nike Peach Jam, will you be headed out to any camps?
Oh yea, right after USA camp I have to go out to the Kevin Durant Skills Camp.
Tell me a little a bit the USA camp (Parker was named to the 2011-2012 USA Developmental National Team) and how it feels to be invited?
Oh man it’s just a blessing you know. Supporting your country and having an opportunity to eventually play for them is a great feeling. You look at some of the players that have played for USA Basketball in the past it’s an honor to be following in their footsteps.
Absolutely must be a thrill. One last question, has your role changed at all from the beginning of the AAU season up until now?
Yea my role has gotten a bit bigger you know, having to become more of a play maker as well as score a lot. They are running a lot of offense through me lately. I try to score but also always keep my teammates involved you know, and try and rebound.
Thanks for your time, Jabari.
Anytime man, thanks.
BDN Premium has an overload of interviews coming your way. Look for a more in depth chat with Jabari coming next week.