What do Jabari Parker and former University of Kentucky point guard, Brandon Knight have in common? They both won the Gatorade Boys’ National Basketball Player of the Year Award as non-seniors. Parker, a junior who tops Kentucky’s 2013 wish list, is only the fourth player all-time to win the award before his final year of high school. He joins LeBron James, Greg Oden and Knight – all of whom went on to win the award in their senior season as well.
While Parker has yet to make any big announcements regarding his recruitment, the high praise keeps pouring in for the young man considered a better prospect than recent Kentucky signee, Nerlens Noel. Paul Biancardi, ESPN’s National Director of Basketball Recruiting, had this to say about Parker’s game:
“On the court, he influences the game with his unique ability to be both a scorer and a facilitator. The versatility allows him to score in the paint and on the perimeter. He possesses outstanding size, combined with an accurate shooting touch from deep, and has added a midrange game that makes him hard to defend. His ball-handling and passing are exceptional, as he seldom gets rattled. His overall basketball IQ and instincts to play the game at a high level at such a young age make him very special with a very bright future.”
In addition to his skill on the court, Parker is respected in his high school as a smart and hard working student who currently maintains a 3.63 GPA.
The class of 2013 is stacked and while my main desire has been to secure the Harrison twins, Jabari Parker seems like a must get. He’s got that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist appeal that can really energize a fan base. While he still has another season of high school ball left to play, I don’t think it’s too soon to start thinking about this young man in the blue and white.