Parsons Realizes Dream

It's always been the case that Chandler Parsons has been in Nick Calathes' shadow. However, the 6-foot-8 senior forward out of Lake Howell (Fla.) High committed to his dream school on Saturday - and he did it on his own terms. He did it following a spectacular summer.

Chandler Parsons has finally achieved his dream.

The 6-foot-8 Lake Howell (Fla.) High senior forward committed to the defending champion Florida Gators on Saturday afternoon.

``Growing up, I always wanted to play for them," said Parsons, who arrived on the Gainesville campus on Friday afternoon and made his decision 24 hours later. "I was busting my tail and working hard and it's paid off."

``Now I've got a chance to play for the defending national champs – for a great coach," he added.

Parsons' stock rose as much as just about anyone's this past spring and summer while playing with Tom Topping's Team Florida squad. He wasn't even in the Top 100 prior to April and climbed throughout April and July, reaching his current ranking of No. 56 in the country – and the 12th small forward. In the month of July, a case could be made that he was the best player on a team that featured his best friend and potential McDonald's All-American – Nick Calathes.

``I wanted to be a better player and every day I just worked hard in the gym," Parsons said. "I wanted to prove a point. I'm my own player."

Prior to April, there was some high-major interest – but Parsons didn't have any big-time offers. When he gave Billy Donovan a commitment on Saturday, he was also considering Indiana, LSU, Tennessee and Notre Dame.

``It was all overwhelming," Parsons said. "Schools came at me hard and fast, but Florida has always been recruiting me. They just wanted to see me develop and make me feel like I earned it."

Parsons definitely earned it.

Now he and Calathes will try and win a state title in high school and then continue to play together in college.

``We want to come in and keep the program at the level it's at," Parsons said. "We want to help them win another national title."

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