Jabari Parker recently accepted a scholarship offer from the Duke Blue Devils, but what was the difference in Parker choosing to roll with Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski?
“I decided I wanted to play for someone I admired, someone that could help me reach my basketball goals and my long-term goals,” Parker said. “I was looking for someone I could look up to, someone that could teach me the game, as well as what’s most important in life.”
That turned out to be Coach K, and the reasons for that were his Olympic experience and animation during Duke’s in-home visit.
“He was so animated,” said Jabari’s mother, Lola. “There were moments when he was so passionate that he couldn’t sit down.”
Coach K walked through different plays of Duke’s offense and how Parker should position his body on each play. Parker said it was like going through a clinic. After Coach K left, Jabari’s older brother, Christian talked him through who he would like to play for.
Christian: “If there was one coach you could play for, who would it be?”
Jabari: “Coach Wooden.”
Christian: “Well he’s no longer here. So who is your second choice?”
Jabari: “There is only person now that is close to him. Coach K.”
From there on out, Coach K was the frontrunner, although Coach Mike Izzo made a strong push to the point where Sonny Parker, Jabari’s father, thought it came down to those two coaches in the end. Coach Izzo ended up disappointed, but he will continue to recruit well in the future.
College basketball everywhere can’t wait to see what Parker is capable of at the college level, and it should provide a whole new challenge for him.