Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are obviously the two best players going in the 2013 college basketball recruiting class. But the debate remains on who the best player in the up coming class is? I believe that Parker will be that top player and will be ranked number one, coming out of the 2012-2013 season.
The 6-8 225 lbs forward had an outstanding USA Basketball and High School career. In 2011, Parker was named USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year and FIBA Americas U16 Championship MVP. In 2012, he was named Gatorade National and Illinois Boys Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the fourth junior in history to earn this honor.
At Simeon High School in Chicago, Parker helped lead Simeon to a 33-1 record, the Chicago Public League title and the school’s third-straight Illinois Class 4A state championship. He averaged 19.5 ppg., 8.9 rpg. and 4.9 apg.
Although Randle outshined Parker in their 2012 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League matchup, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 boards while leading the Texas Titans to a win, he remains the top recruit by ESPN and Sports Illustrated’s standards.
I believe this season will truly define who the best player is, but the advantage has to go to Parker. Parker’s versatility and basketball IQ is second to none and he truly is a great kid off the court.
Parker can handle the basketball, shoot the long ball and rise over any defender at the rim. He has consistently shown improvement throughout his high school career and shows a desire to keep improving his game. From his freshman to junior year, Parker’s average points per game increased from 9.5 to 19.5, his rebounds per game increased from 5 to 8.9, and his assists per game increased from 3 to 4.9.
Off the court Parker is a member of his high school’s honor roll and earned a 3.63 weighted GPA. He was appointed by his principal to the Local School Council, where he serves as the President of Student Representatives and is active in volunteering in his community with People United to Serve Humanity, New Beginnings Church and is a senior citizen youth ambassador in association with the LDS Hyde Park Ward.
Parker has not yet committed to any college and will most likely not make a decision until Spring.