By Joe Henricksen

Jabari Parker joins loaded Mac Irvin Fire 17s

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By Joe Henricksen

A combination of circumstances and events has led Simeon star Jabari Parker back to the Mac Irvin Fire program. The super sophomore, who had been playing with Ferrari's 17s, was a member of the Fire program last spring and summer and will be joining the loaded 17-and-under team for this weekend's Nike EYBL Tournament in Dallas.

For starters, Parker, a talented 6-8 do-it-all forward, wanted a chance to play against the nation's best. And the NIKE EYBL schedule, which has been a huge hit and success across the country, brings the top national players and club programs together for four different events. Parker will potentially have a chance to go up against the top player in the class, 6-9 Julius Randle out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Texas.

"He wants competition, the top competition," says Jabari's father, Sonny Parker. "He wants to play against the best. One of Jabari's individual goals is to be the best. And they say Julius Randle is the No. 1 player, so this gives him a chance to play against him and other top players at events like the EYBL and get better as a player."

The opportunity to face the nation's elite was one of the factors that went into Parker's decision to return to the Mac Irvin Fire. In addition, several of Parker's good friends, including Whitney Young's Tommy Hamilton, currently play with the Fire. He spoke with his parents and told them what he wanted.

"This was Jabari's decision," says Sonny. "There was no pressure from anyone. Plus, with his friends there with the Fire, he was looking ahead to next year as well."

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AAU Ball updates are like a soap opera, no wonder they canceled, All my Children and One Life To Live!

what happened to illinois ferrari and playing with his coach?

You know the deal. Ferrari couldn't get into those top tournaments for whatever reasons. Therefore he had to roll or lose opportunities to be ranked number 1 in his class.

This is prototypical AAU/club ball operating procedure. The organizations with the most influence (gym shoe company monies) get the players of their choosing. It's done that way from New York to L.A. and every point in between. It's to be expected, the game is the game. I don't see how this is necessarily newsworthy but thanks for yet another Jabari Parker update.

Jabari made the decision to go back to the Fire to play with his friends it was his decision only no outside influence.

Remember,Jabari plays for Simeon H.S. 2 time state champs.#9 USA Today. His H.S. team plays next season a national schedule.He does not have to play aau. He has recieved more reconition from his school team. Freshman and Sophmore espn rise national player of the year. All state,All City,All Area.Jabari says all that ranking is okay, I still have to play.Of course he wants to be the best player everytime he competes.His plate is full, starting with Adidas Nation in Vegas,USA 16u in Colorado and Mexico.NBPA top 100 camp in Virginia Nike Skills Academy with Kevin Durant and Lebron James.Ihoops with NCAA.All invites and his school team.All these things they talk about him good or bad we can't contol what they say all the time about Jabari.
He is very humble.He love God family frieds teammates classmates teachers and coaches.

Sonny, I am very critical of the system of youth basketball for a lot of different reasons and your post illustrates one of my major concerns. Before I go any further let me say this again, this is not about your son. My issue is with a system that corrupts both children and adults into believing that shuttling kids all over this country for the sole purpose of playing basketball is somehow good for them.

You've outlined for us your son's itinerary for this upcoming spring and summer, which athletically makes him very fortunate. However, we've seen it all before. Chicago has had blue-chip players for as long we've had basketball. What's lost in your post is the fact that kids like your son are going to spend a good portion of this time tucked away in hotels, eating fast food and not getting proper rest. Also, some of these kids are going to play more basketball games in the spring and summer than the NBA plays all season long.

And all of this is done at the expense of being children and experiencing basic social and academic experiences associated with proper development. During the spring season, these kids are missing school in order to fly across country to participate in some these tournaments. And we're starting this in 5th and 6th grade now. There's something really wrong this scenario.

The most ironic and sad conclusion to this situation to me is the fact that we justify it by saying that we are allowing our kids to do this in search of a college scholarship - which the vast and overwhelming majority of them will never qualify for.

very well said Darnell!

As an educator, I have to agree with Darnell on this one. Our biggest concern is missing school. AAU's focus is marketing product, including human product for the shoe companies and the NBA. It's not about scholarships. Phil K, My homey, this is the first time I've ever witnessed you being in agreement with anyone or anything. I guess you are human after all. Happy Mothers Day to Joe, you, and all of the other blogheads. Do something nice for Mom.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on April 27, 2011 5:26 PM.

Former Marshall star Darius Smith signs with EIU was the previous entry in this blog.

Simeon -De La Salle highlights 2012 Showdown is the next entry in this blog.

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