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Wiggins finally gets a shot at Jabari Parker

When Sports Illustrated called Jabari Parker “the best high school player since LeBron James” on its May 21, 2012 cover, a rivalry was born. Andrew Wiggins, then a grade below Parker, believed he was the best player in the country and deserved the cover story of the magazine. He was upset that Parker got the nod, and from that moment forward, he was out to prove SI wrong. The upcoming summer AAU circuit would provide the opportunity to outshine Parker, so Wiggins thought.

But just two days before the 2012 Nike Peach Jam — an AAU tournament that would put the two in a head-to-head matchup on its third day — was set to kick off in South Carolina, Jabari Parker announced he would sit out to recover from a right heel injury he had been playing on for two months. Parker’s father said his son was fine and just needed the rest at the time. He said Jabari had nothing to prove that summer after earning a state title and Gatorade Player of the Year honors.

Andrew Wiggins disagreed.

Wiggins wanted Parker to prove he deserved the SI cover and the “Best Since LeBron James” title. Wiggins wanted a shot at Parker, the nation’s best player. Wiggins wanted to outshine him in front of every scout and college basketball coach in America. But Parker was resting that heel and “had nothing to prove,” in his eyes.

Andrew Wiggins won’t ever admit it publicly, but some of those who know him will tell you he thought Jabari Parker was ducking him last summer. At the time, Parker was the top ranked player in the 2013 class; Wiggins the top ranked in the class of 2014. Wiggins was hungry to be the guy, while Parker had already drawn all the praise. It’s the matchup everyone wanted to see — everyone, except the Parkers.

Tonight, after almost a year of debating the two prep stars, we get to see the matchup, if only for a few plays. It’s not the game Andrew Wiggins hoped for last summer, but he’ll have the opportunity to body up with the player he overtook for the No. 1 spot when he reclassified last fall.

Both guys will probably tell you tonight doesn’t matter and it’s all in fun, but there’s no denying the magnitude of the contest. Wiggins, though now the top guy, finally gets his shot at Sports Illustrated‘s cover boy; Parker, who will suit up for Duke next fall, gets the kid who took his spot atop the high school rankings.

It’s going to be a showdown.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

31 Comments for Wiggins finally gets a shot at Jabari Parker

  1. mike
    10:49 am April 3, 2013 Permalink


  2. Steely Dan
    10:50 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Expect the Parkers when? I still need to clean the house and put the turkey in

  3. M
    10:50 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Hopefuly Wiggins doesn’t commit to UNC to get a few shots at him next season.

  4. atlantacat
    10:52 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Quite a few assumptions here, Drew. Link?

  5. roydillard
    10:54 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I would take randale over both of them. I have seen all 3 play and think he is better.

  6. zeke87
    10:54 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    # 3 – I had the same thought. He would play Parker twice if he goes to FSU or UNC. We’ll see.

  7. roydillard
    10:55 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    oops Randle

  8. BBN
    10:59 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Jabari Parker and his chicken little personality (ex. ducking from Wiggins) will be a perfect fit at Duke. I could tell Parker was a Duke nerd the first time I saw his photo. His appearance exudes that of a Duke nerd. I thought the same way about Shabazz but he had financial reasons to stay in LA. Tyus Jones also has that Duke nerd look, sad to say.

  9. KSR Needs to Post This
    11:02 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Hey KSR Crew,

    You need a what to watch for/drinking game post for the game tonight. Include a go-to list of what UK commits (and other interesting players) are on what team and their jersey numbers. I want to be able to easily spot next year’s players, especially when they are flying down the court in transition.

  10. El Pollo Loco
    11:03 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Ha, it’s not even close. When all is said and done, Wiggins will be in the elite of the elite talk. Parker will be a solid pro, nothing more.

  11. dsjfh
    11:03 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    bruh wiggins is clean doe… jabari, you a dolphin fam.

  12. blab
    11:04 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    J Park is in trouble tonight.

  13. H.A. Milton
    11:08 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    When you look at the Wiggins recruitment in relation to Jabari Parker, and the fact that UK is projected #1 and Duke is #2, if Wiggins wants to have the opportunity to hand it to Parker, he kind of has to come to UK becuase UNC, FSU, nor Kansas look like they have a shot at beating Duke.

  14. Ksu
    11:09 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Harrison, Harrison, young, randle, WCS, polson, Johnson, wiltjer, lee, poythress, Willis, hood. That’s a heck of a team with one scholarship left. If wiggins comes, holy sh$$!

    11:11 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Wonder if Pothress is willing to giving the number 22 up to get Wiggins here?

  16. Andrew Wiggins
    11:14 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Ill probably wear number 52. I wore it in a few summer camps

  17. Michael F. Jox
    11:16 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Jabari should of never got that kind of pub. The dude is really skilled and with his size will be a problem for most at the college level to guard, but he’s no where near the athlete that Lebron or Wiggins are. I am a little curious of who you’ve talked to that knows Wiggins though. Any details?

  18. Wagon Will
    11:16 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #16, He’s the next BIG STAR. He’s not going to wear #52. He’ll wear #6 before he wears #52.

  19. Kevin Cooke
    11:22 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

  20. Doron
    11:22 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Jabari cuffin, what time wiggins play tn

  21. MemphisCat
    11:29 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I can already hear Rat face on the officials that Wiggins is pushing, grabing, holding his player to get the calls. Cry baby biatch….

  22. I Say
    11:30 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Drew you are by far my favorite writer on this site, but where are you getting this info from? You make it sound like you heard this straight from wiggins or his family.

  23. Mack
    11:37 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

  24. RICK
    11:45 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    We don’t need him,kind of tired about this. When is the kid going to announce so we can get on with baseball and football.

  25. BlueRedNeck
    11:45 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Hmmm, I am wondering if Wiggins commits to UK will he have to endure the microscope from Emmert and the NCAA just like Nerlens did last year? The word then was that the reclassification raises a red flag and any kid who does this should expect a thorough investigation. I also wonder if the fact that he is from Canada will be another excuse for them to try to shaft us if he comes to UK. I think that is one of the things that slowed the development of this year’s team – the fact that Nerlens was late getting to campus because he had to complete some course work and await the NCAA scrutiny to pass. Hope we get Andrew, and I hope the NCAA keeps their snooping to their own “self investigation”.

  26. bob
    11:57 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    This tolly ho crap is getting on my nerves. shut up for the love of god

  27. Michael
    11:58 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Wiggins is 2014 class?

  28. Sam
    11:58 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    25: You may have identified the reason Wiggins hasn’t already announced for UK. HE and the school may be going through the process of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s!!

  29. BigBlue
    12:06 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    lol i think this is all in Drews head. The quotes ive heard from Wiggins seems like they get along fine. Drew r u going to hate Wiggins if he doesn’t come here?

  30. Tolly Ho Needs Us
    12:10 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    if i was #1 or #2, i wouldn’t risk further injuring my ankle for a stupid AAU game either.

  31. Still Hope(next year)
    12:21 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    If Wiggins thinks this through, UK is a lock. Almost any other place he plays and he see double or triple team defense on him. At UK, there will be 4 others on the floor that must be guarded. At UK, he can go 1 on 1.

    If you go back to Rupp theory on how to guard a team with a super star, let them have their points like Rupp let Pistol Pete and UK would kill them. Pete got 50+ and UK still wins. So if Wiggins goes to a school without a great support system on floor with him, he will be bombed with people in his face.

    Make the right decision and come to Lexington, Ky and play for the Wildcats. CATS CATS CATS