Jabari Parker put on a show in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. The freshman sensation had 27 points and nine boards and looked oh-so-smooth doing it. Parker’s offensive game is already NBA-ready.
It is incredible how advanced he is. Remember he is only 18-years old. On this night, he looked head and shoulders above Andrew Wiggins in terms of offensive prowess, and was cool and calmness in the spotlight. That’s what struck me most about Parker. The moment did not look too big for him. In the national spotlight in their hometown, some people would have let nerves get the best of them — not Parker.
This is a kid that was on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a junior in high school as the best prospect since LeBron James. We are starting to see why. While Wiggins got all the hype after Parker performed below expectations in his senior season in high school, it is Parker who seems to have a much better feel for the game, especially on offense.
Duke Blue Devils fans will be reminded of Grant Hill when watching Parker. It’s certainly lofty praise, but well deserved. Parker already seems to have grown into his pro body with his 6-foot-8, 240-pound frame. I can’t imagine what this kid is going to be like at 25.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to witness Parker in the clutch as he fouled out late in the game trying to stop a Wiggins fast-break dunk. Regardless, we saw enough. From jump shots, to runners in the lane, to a breathtaking alley-oop, Parker displayed a bit of everything on this night. The scary thing? There’s still a lot more to come.