The most talked about high school basketball prospect in Chicago history will quiet some of the chatter very soon. Simeon's Jabari Parker is set to announce where he will play his college basketball.
The 6-8 All-American and 2012 National Player of the Year, who is the No. 2 ranked player in the country in the Class of 2013, will announce his decision next Thursday, Dec. 20 at Simeon High School at 3 p.m. Duke, BYU, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford are among his final five.
Depending on who you listen to, either Duke or Michigan State appear to be the schools to beat. Florida, however, has always been the darkhorse and lingering around, even when coach Billy Donovan and his Gators weren't given much of a chance in the early rounds of this recruiting slugfest. While it seems so many have Duke as the favorite -- one national website had five of their six "experts" predicting Duke as his destination -- the City/Suburban Hoops Report has swayed between Michigan State and Florida.
The recruitment of Parker has been a long one. As the son of a Chicago basketball icon, Sonny Parker, his recruitment began during his 7th and 8th grade days when he showed such enormous promise and potential. He was the No. 1 player in his class as a freshman and remained there throughout his first three years of high school until Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep in West Virginia recently re-classified to the Class of 2013.
While the recruitment of Parker began early, it's continued well into his senior year, even beyond the early signing period this past fall. But through it all, both Parker and his family have maintained the course they originally set, which was to decide late.
"He's going to take his time," Sonny Parker told the Hoops Report over a year ago. "He's in no rush. He will narrow his list down, take his visits, really get to know the coaches and programs and decide in the fall of his senior year and not before."
And true to his word, that's the exact course Parker has taken.
Parker has been slowed by a foot injury since June, but he made his debut Dec. 1 in the Chicago Elite Classic, where Simeon knocked off Milton of Georgia in the season opener. Simeon travels to Texas on Thursday to face DeSoto.
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