Jabari Parker, the Duke-bound forward of Chicago Simeon Career Academy's high-school basketball championship team, addresses the Illinois Senate Tuesday with his coaches and teammates. (Photo/Illinois Senate Democrats)
SPRINGFIELD-Some basketball royalty stood tall in the state Senate Tuesday.
All-American Jabari Parker and his teammates from Chicago Simeon's championship basketball team visited Springfield, drawing praise from state lawmakers five weeks after wrapping up a fourth-straight state title.
"I just want to say to them publicly, 'Thank you, young men, for standing strong for all the young people who look to you as an example of what an athlete can be, an academic and an athlete," said state Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), who hosted the team in Springfield.
Parker, a Duke-bound 6-foot-8 forward chosen last month as the Morgan Wootten McDonald's All American national player of the year, was the only member of the team to speak to the Senate.
"Good afternoon everybody. I want to say thanks for letting us join you guys," he said.
"Thank you for the support for our season. We couldn't make it without our friends," Parker said.