By Joe Henricksen

No. 1 college team in to see Jabari Parker

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By Joe Henricksen

Just a day after falling to South Carolina on ESPN, the nation's top-ranked college basketball team in the country was in Chicago watching Simeon freshman sensation Jabari Parker. Kentucky assistant coach Rod Strickland, the former DePaul and NBA star, took in the Simeon-Julian game Wednesday night.

Although Kentucky has not officially offered Parker, look for the Wildcats to join the growing list of big-time suitors who have already offered the 6-5 freshman. Illinois, Northwestern, Florida, Kansas, DePaul, Washington, BYU and Oregon State are a few of the college programs that have offered the young star. Strickland, who has been recently mentioned as a possible candidate for the DePaul job this offseason, watched Parker score a team-high 15 points while once again showcasing his all-around skill package. DePaul assistant coach Billy Garrett was also in to watch the Simeon-Julian matchup.

Parker remains one of the true future jewels in Illinois high school basketball. Whether it's Parker or Whitney Young's Tommy Hamilton -- go ahead and put them 1a and 1b in the Class of 2013 rankings -- you're talking about two players who have lived up to unrealistic expectations placed on them as freshmen.

In watching Parker several times this season, you just come away so impressed with not only his skill level, but how he carries himself. He remains grounded, has such a desire to win and wants to make those around him better. In time, as he gains age, maturity and respect, he's going to be a big-time leader and a player others will want to follow.

There is so much to like for a player so young. The Hoops Report has compared his style and game to that of Paul Pierce, a skilled, highly versatile player on the wing with a tremendous feel for the game and feathery release and touch. His shot is pure from beyond the arc, smooth from mid-range, and he displays a bag of tricks offensively typically not seen from a player his age. Again, for an inexperienced player, Parker already has a knack for creating, seeing the floor and finding others. He's big-bodied and with his off-the-charts basketball sense understands how to use his body in shielding the ball and drawing contact.

Parker may not be what you would call a freak of an athlete, but he's above-average by high-major standards. Plus, he's not one to go out and one-up or show-up an opponent with a dunk or high-flying athletic move. He uses his athleticism when he needs to. When you combine that above-average athleticism with the skill level and the fact he's a student of the game who studies past greats, he's only going to get better -- scary better.

As far as recruiting, the stakes will be high. However, the recruitment won't be a wild sideshow as we've seen with other big-named Chicago players. Jabari and his father, Sonny Parker, have a plan and have said they are in no rush to end things, with the trusted circle of the recruitment including only Jabari, his mother, his father and Simeon coach Rob Smith. They want to help showcase and highlight other players Jabari will be playing with, both with his high school team and on the summer AAU circuit.

For more information or to subscribe to the City/Suburban Hoops Report, call (630)-408-6709 or email hoopsreport@yahoo.com

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10 Comments

Joe:
Can you answer me something though. Sonny Parker is a truly great guy and is a true inspiration to the many kids who he has worked with through his foundation. He puts a great emphasis on education for kids in the inner city and delivers that message strongly. He has encouraged many kids to get an education and choose the best school not just where your buddies from the neighborhood attend. Why then did he send his own son to the basketball factory known as Simeon that has some of the worst test scores in the state, is on the watch list, has a high crime rate, has a 60% drop out rate and is on the list of schools that could be reorganized shortly by the board of ed? Why not get his son in a terriffic academic setting (CPS magnet school, Catholic School, or a move to a suburban school)? I was shocked when his son choose Simeon and still am.

Thanks for painting a picture of the player, Joe! Pretty accurate description in the couple of times I have seen him. I hope he stays all that he's cracked up to be and doesn't let the recruiting become a distraction or get dirty.

Been trying to come up with who Parker reminds me of because he's so different of a player than we typically see. And Pierce hits it right on the head. You think about it he even has some of the same mannerisms.

So many young players get so much hype early on these days and usually premature by people. However the praise thrown around some players is actually legit. Mr. parker is legit.

I was wondering how come the big time freshman in the city get big ink and coverage but nobody mentions the two freshman in the CSl. One being the dynamic freshman starting pg for niles north malachi nix who has has averaged in double figures in wins against mather gordon tech and maine east and andrew mcauliffe who continues to impress at 6'7 at a contending glenbrook north. I guess my point is there are players of this top freshman in state discussion that dont play in the city..

He chose a great basketball school that can help him becomme a better player. Its not about tthe crime rates or the scores of the school because he grew up in the same type of environment.So many good players have come to schools in "baad" neighborhoods and low test scores such as Derrick Rose, jannero pargo (robseson),sherron collins(crane) Malcolm Griffin(hyde park),Darius Smith(marshall) and the list goes on. I think that Jabarri is a great player at his age and has a lot of potential.Maybe Simeon was just the school that he was most comfortable with.

HE SENT HIS SON TO SIMEON, BECAUSE HE LIVES IN THE AREA, AND ALSO BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE WILL BE MONITORED, AND SONNY KNOWS THAT HIS SON WON'T HAVE ANY TROUBLE HITTING HIS BOOKS, SIMEON IS A SCHOOL THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY SERIOUS ABOUT SPORTS, AND BY NOW ALL OF YOU SHOULD KNOW, THAT SPORTS ARE AN EXTENSION OF THE CLASSROOM!
THE DUMB JOCK SYNDROME WON'T FLY ANY LONGER, THIS YOUNGSTER IS BEING OFFERED SCHOLARSHIPS BY NATIONAL POWERHOUSE SCHOOLS, AND HE IS THE FIRST FRESHMAN TO START AT SIMEON, AND IN FACT EVEN BE ON THE VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM, SOMETHING AN NBA ALLSTAR DID NOT DO, HINT, HINT, BECAUSE, COACH HAMBRIC DIDN'T ALLOW FRESHMAN TO PLAY ON THE VARSITY!
FINALLY THAT IS NOT TRUE ABOUT THE HIGH CRIME RATE AT SIMEON HIGH SCHOOL AND THAT COMMUNITY, AND REMEMBER IT IS NOT WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING, IT IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING IN SCHOOL, BECAUSE IN EVERY SCHOOL THERE IS A TOP STUDENT AND THERE IS THE JOHN MCCAIN STUDENT, NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE DECK, JABARI PARKER IS A GREAT STUDENT AND BASKETBALL PLAYER, JUST LIKE HIS DAD!

they certainly are Number 1 in one thing- dishonesty. There is no defense for Calipari. Doeswn't Memphis find out its standing today?

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on January 28, 2010 6:09 PM.

Q & A time for teams at Young Shootout was the previous entry in this blog.

Unsung Harris lighting it up is the next entry in this blog.

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