Jabari Parker surpassed Derrick Rose in another category over the holidays and became the first three-time winner of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament’s A.C. Williamson Award.
He apparently didn’t care much about it, because he dropped the trophy following Simeon’s 60-47 victory over West Aurora in the championship game late Saturday night. Just kidding. The trophy drop was obviously an accident, but Parker did not think he should have won the award this year.
“Last year he felt (then-Simeon senior) Steve Taylor played better, and this year I think he feels (Curie center) Cliff Alexander played a little better and should have got it,” Simeon Coach Robert Smith said.
“The thing about Jabari, he doesn’t want anybody to give him anything. He’s the type of person who thinks he should earn it.”
The award gets voted on by the tournament’s nine referees and is a sportsmanship award, but also predictably goes to the tournament’s best player every year. Parker averaged 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in the tournament, and the scary part is he is still playing his way into shape after missing 5 months with a foot fracture.
Parker might be right about Alexander though. The Curie center put on a show while averaging 20.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks for the third-place Condors. He had 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting in Curie’s 62-57 semifinal loss to Simeon, and shot an incredible 38 of 48 from the field over all of the games.
Parker wasn’t motivated by winning the award for the 3rd time, but simply with continuing to improve as a player.
“That is not one of my goals,” he said. “I don’t look to win this award again. I won it the last two years and it’s been special, but I just want to compete against myself last year and be better. That’s all I’m thinking about.”
Parker will be attending Duke University next year where he will likely continue to garner awards for his ever improving play.