Jabari Parker's name has been known around local basketball circles since the small forward emerged as a freshman starter for perennial Chicago high school hoops powerhouse Simeon Academy, a feat not even Derrick Rose could accomplish. Now, Parker is good enough to be named the 2012 Gatorade National Player of the Year as a junior. He's considered the best high school player in the country, a future No. 1 overall NBA draft pick and the best player to come out of our city since....well, Anthony Davis.
But still. Jabari Parker is one hell of a high school basketball player. He's almost qualifies a local legend after leading Simeon to three straight state championships; yep, one for every year he's been in school.
A whole bunch of people who aren't familiar with Parker are about to get acquainted. Parker is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.
Via NBC's CollegeBasketballTalk:
"The Best High School Basketball Player Since LeBron James"
It's the type of statement from a national magazine that could drown a teenager in pressure, but by all accounts, Parker will be up for the challenge. He's known a smart and humble kid from a successful family who's been bred his entire life to do something as insane as grace of the cover as Sports Illustrated as a 17-year old.
Parker has yet to make a decision on where he'll go to college, but the Duke Blue Devils and Michigan State Spartans are considered the front-runners.