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Jabari Parker: Best HS Player Since LeBron?

If you missed Sports Illustrated’s article highlighting Kentucky recruit Jabari Parker, take a few minutes at some point today and check it out.  It’s an interesting (and thorough) look at a kid with a unique background, and paints a good picture of an elite, yet “incredibly humble” person.  I particularly like the description of the rims at his favorite practice gym: “One of the rims in the church gym is still bent from the ensuing years of Jabari’s dunks. The other rim is straight: That’s where he honed his jump shot.”  Good stuff.

But, while the story is largely about his character and his faith, the author flippantly, and perhaps unwisely, brandishes the title “best high school basketball player since LeBron James,” which is certainly no small claim.  Consider, between James’ senior year in 2003 and now, high school basketball has seen the likes of Greg Oden, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, and Anthony Davis.  Davis was probably the least touted of that bunch, only garnering substantial attention through his senior year, but any player who averages 30 and 20 deserves to be on that list.  Through in two-time Gatorade National Player of the Year Brandon Knight, and you could almost fill that list with Calipari recruits.  But it’s an undeniably intimidating list, to be sure.  Surely Jeff Benedict really doesn’t think that Parker should be put at the top of it?

Jabari, 17, is not just the best high school player in the state. He’s the best high school player since LeBron James.

Oh.  Well, okay then.  While there’s little doubt that Parker is the top player in the 2013 class, there is some debate as to the “best since James” title.  CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish took up the opposing side:

I don’t think SI did [Parker] any favors putting him on the cover while calling him “the best high school basketball player since LeBron James” because nobody I know genuinely thinks Parker is the best high school basketball player since LeBron James. That label probably belongs to Greg Oden or Dwight Howard, both of whom were overwhelming at the prep level. And this is precisely the problem with the cover. Parker is an elite prospect and, by all accounts, a fine young man. But that label SI bestowed upon him transformed a conversation about Parker as a player and person into a debate about whether he’s truly what the cover proclaimed, which caused Parker’s interesting story to be immediately overshadowed by a label that’s at best debatable and at worst complete BS. The kid? He’s just caught in the middle of the debate, and that’s unfortunate because I’m confident he didn’t ask to be projected that way.

Okay, so maybe not “best since James,” but Jabari’s still ridiculously good, right Gary?

Yes, he’s awesome. … Kid’s legit.

So whether or not SI’s claim proves to be true (Parker has his senior year to prove or discount it), one thing is for sure: this kid would look good in Blue.  Big Blue Nation eagerly will eagerly anticipate his announcement this coming year.

Article written by Corey Nichols

29 Comments for Jabari Parker: Best HS Player Since LeBron?



  1. LeBron's Mom
    9:02 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    First!



  2. Dickie Z
    9:06 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Half text, half quotes…just give us the links and save us from suffering through your writing. Corey Nichols sucks!



  3. grammar police
    9:09 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    “Through in…”

    I guess 9 is too early for you Corey…



  4. Marcus L. Owens
    9:09 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I like Parker but that Julius Randle highlight package from yesterday has me rethinking about who is better. Randle is a better athlete and plays with that killer instinct thou Parker is extremely skilled I don’t like his body or his hops. Randle, the twins, and Young along with Cauley is a dominating starting 5 for 2013-14 even if we miss out on Parker.



  5. cdc_uky
    9:18 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I am still thinking about this coming season. It is going to be an exciting year…we will have some losses and see a young team grow throughout the season. I can’t wait to see Noel in action, Goodwin is a stud, and Poythress is going to score, score, score. We will likely add another player too.

    Hopefully we will be excited to see Parker at this time next year!



  6. jaxcats
    9:19 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Glad Parrish responded, because he’s absolutely right. Parker is NOT the best since LeBron. LeBron was heads and shoulders above everyone. Parker is very, very good, but not quite at level of LeBron. LeBron in HS was a sensation. How many non-basketball people are talking about Jabari Parker? No one.

    Also, Corey sucks. Bring back BTI.



  7. P.L. Wallingford, III
    9:20 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    # 3, I concur. I’m surprised we didn’t see “prolly” in the article, too.



  8. When it comes to the "best since Lebron"
    9:31 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’d prefer sliced bread.

    GO PACERS



  9. Ryan Lemond Wants Funnel Cake!!
    9:40 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I think Corey deserves a break and should take the summer off.



  10. Uglymuffin
    9:45 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Didnt I read all this a few days ago. Like, all the exact same stuff. Come on man.



  11. Steely Dan
    9:47 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll be sure to through him in, Corey. Just as soon as I throw myself into oncoming traffic.



  12. Adam
    9:49 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Yea LBJ was the best player and it wasn’t even debatable. Parker is very good but a case can be made for about 3-4 players to be the best right now. Randle, Wiggins, Harrison, and maybe even Gordon are right there with Parker.



  13. Al's IndiCats
    9:55 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I like to get on here just to hammer the Key board for the plain sake of hammering the letters out to try and make sense of a sentence to where nothing is really said, but just to take time out of my day just to see what this could look like if it had made any sense of it all. Micheal Jordon, Larry Bird, Magic, the “ICEman” and Dr. J are just a few names to drop if I had anything to say about them. But Thanks anyway!



  14. uk3k
    10:00 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    This is exactly what crossed my mind when I saw the cover. I know that extreme amounts of hype really dont need anything logical to be based on (see the Jets) but this is crazy.

    a few other players to come to the league since lebron with elite skills… Kevin Durant, John Wall, Blake Griffin.



  15. TShlew
    10:10 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Parker’s the best in this class, but he’s not even the best high school player in the nation right now. That would be Andrew Wiggins. Parker will be a perennial All-Star player in the NBA and any team will be extremely lucky to have him. He’s an absolute beast of the Carmello Anthony mold. Wiggins has future MVP written all over him.

    Discounting Wiggins, I say best since Dwight.



  16. cdc_uky
    10:13 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    For those complaining about this post…at least it is not about a UofL player proposing. Progress…



  17. Stud Daddy Tanner
    10:30 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Sweet last sentence, dude.



  18. Dondraper89
    10:33 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I will eagerly wait eagerly for you to stop writing.



  19. Really
    10:34 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sure Big Blue Nation “eagerly will eagerly await” your inevitable journalistic retirement.



  20. Randolph Morris
    10:40 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I was so much better than dwight when we played against each other in high school. I should be an all-star center getting payed the big bucks. Going to college was the biggest mistake of my life. I hate tubby. corey nichols too.



  21. bluefan
    10:48 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Just one of the several reasons we don’t need to tie up a 4 year scholly on Harrel. I’d rather have a “slightly off” season than miss out on this guy, the twins, etc.
    Trusting Coach on this one.



  22. banned
    10:54 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    Cal will get who he wants.



  23. Joe Walsh
    10:55 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    I like big tits…that’s right!



  24. not you're engleish teacher
    11:12 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    whose throughing thee first pitch at the sec base-ball turnament in Hoover alabama.



  25. corey2
    11:13 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    One of Corey’s best post.

    Mostly quotes and plagarized ideas, sure, but at least he didn’t muck it up by offering theories and opinions.



  26. Herman Munster
    11:44 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    No doubt this kid (Parker) must be going to duke or unc, if he’s already called the best since lebron.



  27. Marcus L. Owens
    11:52 am May 21, 2012 Permalink

    15. Carmelo is who I think of when I see Parker play. Great great skill just explosive like LJB or Wiggins. Wiggins make me think MKG and Harrison Barnes rolled up in one.



  28. jhat-trey1
    12:12 pm May 21, 2012 Permalink

    What about the part in the article when Jabrari’s faather called Coach Cal after the championship congradulating him, then Cal told him that he (Cal) really wanted to coach Jabrari?



  29. BooCat
    9:05 am May 22, 2012 Permalink

    Cut and paste Corey YOU SUCK!