The Hoophall Classic has become just another road game for Jabari Parker. Since he was a freshman the Duke-bound forward has been impressing the crowd in Springfield. This year, however, the biggest difference for Parker wasn’t on the court.
Instead, it was outside the locker room.
After years of answering questions about where he was visiting and who had offered him, Parker got to talk about one school and one school only: Duke. After ripping Oak Hill for 28 points on Monday at the tournament, Parker was full of praise for his future school.
“I think everything was necessary, even though I didn’t understand at the time,” said Parker, according to MassLive.com’s Jay King. “I saw the campus — it was pretty nice. They have great resources and the coaching staff is always on point.”
“And I want to just win. At Duke, they’re always going to the tournament,” the 6-foot-8 small forward added. “They’re going to give you the opportunity. You just have to handle the rest on your own.”
Duke, who was just named the No. 1 team in the country for the second time this year, has been a tournament mainstay since Mike Krzyzewski took over the program and brought it to prominence. His four national titles earned him an invite to the Hall of Fame just a few years ago.
As far as what he can do for Duke next season, he just wants to be a part of the machine.
“I just want to be hungry. I’m going to listen twice as much as I talk,” Parker told King. “But of course I want to just be a good guy, a good teammate. That’s what I focus on. I know it might be a little difficult for them accepting me as a player, but I’m going to try to fill my role in and not step on anybody’s toes.”
If that’s all he does, Duke will be in fantastic shape to get back to the tournament in 2013-14.