After months and months of speculation, the No. 2-ranked prospect of the 2013 class — according to ESPN — Jabari Parker chose Duke as his pre-NBA destination over MSU, Stanford, BYU, and Florida.
The 6-foot-8 small forward from Chicago’s South Side covered Sports Illustrated back in May, and has been unfairly named the best player to come out of high school since LeBron James.
Jabari Parker (Photo by John Rowland).
As a junior, Parker averaged 19.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.9 apg, 3.3 bpg and 1.4 spg which earned him Illinois’ Mr. Basketball and the national Gatorade Player of the Year honors, and helped lead his Simeon team to their third consecutive state championship. Parker is just the fourth non-senior to ever win the national Gatorade Player of the Year award.
Parker has been struggling with a foot injury during his senior season that he suffered back in July and has missed the past couple of games.
Parker’s addition to Coach K’s team could make them the No. 1-ranked team in the nation heading into the 2013-2014 season.
MSU only has one senior on their team — center Derrick Nix — and even though the addition of Parker would have helped MSU immensely, they won’t be damaged with his commitment to Duke.
The Spartans have a roster full of highly-touted recruits, and while none are quite like Parker, they have a strong nucleus of young players.
Parker’s decision could potentially help the Spartans this year. Tom Izzo’s team has been very stagnant thus far in the season, and this decision could light a fire under the Spartans and cause them to go out and show the rest of the world that they are talented with or without Parker.