On Thursday, Simeon Career Academy’s Jabari Parker was named the Gatorade Illinois Boys Basketball Player of the Year. This should be familiar to Parker, because he won the award last year. Parker is now in consideration for the national Gatorade Player of the Year Award.
“Jabari Parker’s calling card is his versatility and his uncommon ability to put winning in front of individual accolades,” ESPNU’s Paul Biancardi said. “He possesses a high basketball IQ along with scoring skills to present matchup problems for opponents.”
In his senior season, Parker averaged 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.9 steals to lead Simeon to its fourth consecutive state championship. What makes those numbers even more impressive? He was rehabbing from a broken foot at the beginning of the year and even came off the bench in the season opener.
The other favorite candidate for this award was probably Jahlil Okafor out of Whitney Young. Okafor had a phenomenal year, but it wasn’t quite enough. Parker got the better of his former AAU teammate twice this year, and that may have been part of the determining factors for this year’s award.
Parker will be joining the Duke University Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina this summer; we’ll just have to see if he continues his winning ways there with the Cameron Crazies.