The race for Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois will likely come down to two young men. Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor. They have both been battling this year for best player in Chicago, and as a result the whole state. Parker has had an impressive season, although he was working his way back from a foot fracture at the beginning and so was on limited minutes. That may be the main thing going against him, because Okafor has been healthy and productive for the entire year.
Okafor has had a very impressive year and even led Whitney Young to the City championship, which Parker’s Simeon Academy fell out of in the semi-finals. Okafor has been called the best player in the country by several opposing coaches this year and he has the skill to back that up. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because both of these young players are deserving. The nod may go to Parker just based on seniority, after all Okafor will have more than a decent shot at Mr. Basketball next year. Okafor’s play though has seriously turned some heads and that could be the difference in who is awarded the honor.
It may come down to how both teams fare in the State playoffs, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.