Jabari Parker Back in Action but Still Exploring His Options

By Jared Brown

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jabari Parker, many consider him to be the top high school basketball prospect in the 2013 class. The Chicago native has led Simeon Career Academy to three straight state titles and will look to add a fourth to his resume this season. The 6’8” 220 pound small forward is still recovering from a fractured left foot he suffered last summer, but is making solid progress as he was on the floor for the team’s season opener, scoring six points in about 10 minutes of action.

Parker has thoroughly explored all of his post-graduation options as he considered pursuing a two year Mormon mission and has taken in-home visits from nine different schools. Recently, he decided not to pursue a mission and narrowed his decision down to five schools; BYU, Duke, Michigan State, Florida and Stanford. After ruling out in-state schools such as DePaul and Illinois, Parker revealed that all five of his finalists share an important trait in that they have long-term, well-established coaches.

“The reason I took Illinois off was because I didn’t know John Groce and his staff. DePaul, I had a good relationship with Jerry Wainwright before he resigned. Getting a new coaching staff just messed it up. The schools I have picked, the coaches have been there a real long time,” he said.

Knowing you can attend essentially any school you wish is dangerous knowledge for any 17-year-old, but Parker seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He’s serious about making the choice that suits him best and isn’t buying into all the pampered treatment that recruiters have been giving him along the way.

“You get a lot of love and praise from the coaches, and they don’t really tell you anything,” said Parker. “It’s important for me to tell who is telling the truth or not.”

Things are going to get more interesting as the clock to Parker’s decision continues to tick. He will likely make his final decision near the end of January or early February. However, right now Jabari needs to focus on getting 100 percent healthy and winning some basketball games.

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