Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle. Those two names are the ones you hear the most when this highly touted freshman class is talked about. However, the player with the most impressive high school resume is not gaining as much attention as the other two. That player would be Duke freshman Jabari Parker.
Parker put together one of the most impressive high school careers in years. He won four straight state champions at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago. He was only the second player in Illinois High School Association to start for four consecutive state championship teams. He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year as junior. He was the Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year as a senior.
He was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois as junior and senior, and was the only non-senior to ever win the award. Parker was certainly no slouch in high school, but why are Wiggins and Randle grabbing all the headlines?
People love to buy into hype and potential. Those two words might as well be Wiggins’ middle name by now. People are mostly gushing over what he could be and not what he is today. He is an extremely talented player. However, Parker is probably the better basketball player as of right now. Parker is much more polished offensively. He has an array of moves and a solid jump shot.
You can’t just completely dominate basketball in Chicago for four straight years without being an exceptional talent. At 6-foot-8 with an NBA-ready body, he has all the tools to be an excellent defender because of his quickness and length. Also, not getting as much attention as he should could put a chip on Parker’s shoulder, which could allow him to really elevate his game.
I think the college basketball world is going to take notice that maybe they slept on Parker a little too much. He will fit right into coach Mike Krzyewski‘s team because of his unselfishness and high basketball IQ. As the season goes on, Jabari Parker’s name will be atop plenty of headlines. He may even outshine Wiggins on November 12 when they go head-to-head in Parker’s hometown of Chicago.
We will see, but do not be surprised if he does.