It’s no secret: teenagers have problems; some more serious than the others.
Even for a highly-touted basketball prospect such as Duke 2013 small forward commit Jabari Parker there can always be issues in these years of adolescence. Following an impressive junior campaign, not only on the floor, but off the floor – featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated – the 6-foot-8 Parker hit some adversity.
At the time, the nation’s top recruit broke a bone in his right foot during the summer and early into his senior year at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Parker had lost his No. 1 ranking to Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (W.Va.).
Through it all the recruiting, attention, and rehab, Parker was getting advice from those who had been through the same situations. According to Bryan Crawford of CSNChicago.com, Parker was getting words of wisdom from Chicago Bulls point guard and Simeon grad, Derrick Rose, as well as NBA veteran and former Duke star, Grant Hill.
“I talked to Derrick during his recruiting process when he was trying to go to Memphis,” Parker told CSNChicago. “He said that it was good for him because he was going to play right away at the guard position. He also said that it was good to have a good relationship with the coach and who’s going to push you and not tell you everything that you want to hear.”
“I talked to Grant and he just told me not to rush the process with my injury,” added Parker. “He had the same problems with his feet so he knows what that’s like.”
The last time Parker was featured on the national TV, he was far from 100 percent and it showed. After being sidelined for four months, Parker struggled to score only five points in a 67-57 loss to fellow Duke commit Matt Jones and DeSoto High (Tex.).
Parker had originally committed to Duke back on Dec. 20, putting an end to his well-documented recruiting process, so he can help Simeon claim another Illinois state title.
Along with Parker and Jones, Semi Ojeleye, a small forward from Ottawa High (Kan.). Ojeleye was recently named Sports Illustrated Player of the Week.