Highly recruited basketball star Jabari Parker, number two senior in the nation out of Simeon Academy, stated Friday on “The Waddle and Silvy Show” that he in fact will pass going on a Mormon mission trip next year.
Parker told the show “I know for a fact I’m going to college my first year.”
With the minimum age recently lowered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 19 to 18, Parker could have very well gone on the two-year mission right out of high school, skipped playing college basketball and went straight to the NBA. This all but guarantees that we will see Parker play at least one year of college ball.
Where that school happens to be still remains a mystery. Parker has narrowed his list down to five schools: Duke Blue Devils, Michigan State Spartans, BYU Cougars, Florida Gators and Stanford Cardinal. With visits to the Blue Devils and Spartans last month, as well as taking visits to the Gators and the Cougars this month, Parker seems to be taking his time in making a decision. He has moved his college announcement several times and looks as if we won’t get on until after the new year.
One school that I do believe is slowly slipping away is BYU. They made over 6,000 t-shirts for Parker’s visit on November 24th and some students even went as far as making a parody video of Gangnam Style. All being a bit much for Parker as he was quoted saying “Just hearing the video and the people with the t-shirts, it was a little bit too much for me at the time.” Desperate times call for desperate measures as I think even the Cougars realize that getting Parker is a bit of a long shot, though they made a very valiant effort.
It’s anybody’s guess now as to where the star will not only end up playing next year but also what his plans after 2013 will be. All five teams, and fans alike, are waiting anxiously for Parker to make a decision. We at least know that in 2013 we will see Parker playing for a top program somewhere in the country.