Jabari Parker in Top Form at Hoophall Classic

Jabari Parker HoophallBy BRIAN FITZSIMMONS

Special to ZAGSBLOG

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – What do Jay Z, Bill Clinton, John Legend, the Baltimore Ravens and Jabari Parker all have in common?

They were all trending nationally on Twitter moments after the Duke-bound Parker scored a game-high 28 points and helped Simeon (Ill.), ranked No. 11 in the USA Today national poll, hold off No. 10 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), 81-68, at the 2013 Spalding Hoophall Classic on Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Parker is the No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2013, and four weeks ago chose Duke over Michigan State, Florida, BYU and Stanford, ending an intense process during which schools, coaches, scouts, reporters and television personalities were all gunning for answers.

After leading Simeon to three straight Illinois state championships and earning the 2012 Gatorade National Player of the Year, Parker is aiming to amass more achievements – not just becoming a visible icon in social media circles — with a clear mind.

“Most definitely,” he responded when asked if his daily routine has been easier since pledging to the Blue Devils on Dec. 20. “Now, my main focus is on me and my team. I’m a senior and this isn’t going to happen again, so I’m just trying to enjoy the whole process.”

Though life has been good lately, Parker was left concerned this past week after a 17-year-old boy, Tyrone Lawson, was shot and killed in the Chicago State University parking lot; he was an innocent bystander waiting for his mother to come pick him up from Simeon’s win over Morgan Park on Wednesday.

“I’m away from all that stuff,” he said. “It’s emotional, though, because it’s my city. I have to do my job … I want to get the kids off the streets… Any city has its ups and downs. We’re just going through ours right now.”

Parker is slated to become Coach K’s most high-profile student next year, but he is also a Mormon who has said he will forego his mission next year and may take it at some point in the future.

“He’s a part of the church, he’s LDS,” Sonny Parker recently told SNY.tv. “That’s always going to be there.”

That’s good news for Duke, obviously. Parker, a product of the same school that produced former No. 1 overall draft pick Derrick Rose, has drawn comparisons to Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce and Georgetown forward Otto Porter. He’s even adopted the Pierce-like stare toward the sideline after connecting on a fall-away jump shot.

“I like looking at the people on the sideline there. You all have beautiful faces,” he quipped.

Parker joins shooting guard Matt Jones and small forward Semi Ojeleye in Duke’s 2013 class. The Blue Devils lose forwards Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly and guard Seth Curry to graduation, but will add Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood and retain many of their current pieces.

Duke could well be the Preseason No. 1 team next year.

As a junior, Parker averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals a game. This year he has been recovering from a broken bone in his foot suffered with the U.S. U17 team in July.

After his most recent performance, it’s safe to say he’s back to being the same Jabari Parker who’s left the Cameron Crazies dreaming about the future.

Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

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7 comments
borisjets
borisjets

Fire Griffin! Can't stand the guy. He's a notch lower than ci"minibrain" and Mehta

Joe Willie
Joe Willie

I save these podcasts for nights I have insomnia --they put me right to sleep z z z z z  z z zz z  z z z z  z z

Marty2634
Marty2634

@cgriffin415 How much Better do you think Jets QB Geno Smith will be this Upcoming Season? M. Vick could Accept being the Backup QB!

mrblint
mrblint

Since we had to suffer thru this horrible pod cast... Actually half suffered since I didn't listen past the first half for the first time since the first podcast, can we have a podcast without griffin next week? When the outside guest on the show ends up being the more optimistic of the podcasters over the "home" podcaster...well that's just pathetic. Griffin makes cimini look good. I am a jets fan. I want to hear about training camp and the progress or lack thereof that the team is making. NOT the mediotic interpretations of the MISQuoted ex QB of the jets. Anyone who cannot see that this tem has tried to improve every dimension of the team is clearly STUPID. Whether they succeeded will be determined by the season. In the meantime please tell me how their acquisitions are progressing.

mrblint
mrblint

Oh and to answer griffins question... Why the vitriol toward the jets media. It's not just the jets... The modern sports media looks for negative slanted stories...because it gets people mad and mad people tend to feedback and react... Which in turn helps sell whatever the heck they are selling. And yes it's great they we have the blogs to get real information specific to our team... But the major media outlets have the best access and they waste it on Tim te bow or Geno vs Vick or Johnny football...early in this podcast these clowns repeated the evaluation of the jets season as overachieving...but this evaluation was predicated on the fact that the media predicted a disaster season last year. In fact any rational person would have picked them to be around .500 last year based on the defense. The media is writing for the masses... Not for the fans. That's fine, but don't expect any love from the true fans.

jaygo
jaygo

@mrblint I am convinced Cory lasts here because his father owns SNY.  No other possible reason . . .

campfodder
campfodder

@jaygo @mrblint Damn, Corey is really out of touch. Dude still dreams about Sanchez in his sleep, one of the worst poddcasts I have heard in a while about the Jets. You can just listen to this guy once and you know he has little knowledge about the game of football. Corey step your game up., saying that the team overachieved puts you in the same category that the morons like Cimidiot are in.