Tony Parker is "Wide Open"

LITHONIA - Miller Grove big man Tony Parker has been heavily recruited for years now.

And the 2012 4-star prospect still has a long way to go before he makes his ultimate decision.

Parker is now involved in the ongoing process of receiving—and taking—visits.

Duke assistant Nate James has become a fixture at Miller Grove home games since the Blue Devils offered Parker in December.

Parker, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound center, is accustomed to playing in front of coaches from big programs, but admits playing in front of Duke's coaches is an honor.

"Duke watched me all summer, so I was kind of used to them being around," he said. "It was good to see them come around. When they walk in the gym everybody knows who they are. They're a great school and they play a really good brand of basketball."

And while Parker is being constantly visited—North Carolina has called, Memphis is routinely represented—Parker has done some visiting of his own.

Parker recently traveled to Ohio State with his high school team.

"Columbus is a nice town," he said. "It's a big campus, and I like the school."

The Buckeyes are currently the No. 1 team in the nation, thanks in large part to freshman forward Jared Sullinger. Parker says he likes the way coach Thad Matta uses Sullinger, adding that he likes Motta's style in general.

"He's just a great guy," Parker said. "He's just an all around great guy. He talks to you. He lets you know how he feels about you. He lets you know your strengths and your weaknesses, so it was good to meet him."


Tony Parker is averaging 18.9 points and 15 rebounds a game this season
While Parker is a national recruit, he has spent time visiting home state schools. He took a trip to Athens to see Georgia knock off Kentucky Jan. 8.

"It was good. I liked it. It was nice," Parker said. "They had a good matchup with Kentucky. They played really hard and got a good win… I've been knowing Georgia since (former head coach Dennis) Felton."

Felton actually offered Parker while he was still just an eighth grader. Once Mark Fox took over in 2009, he let Parker know he was a top target.

"He's a real good coach," Parker said of Fox. "He's cool. He's making his program known, and that's good for Georgia."

Parker has also taken unofficial visits to Georgia Tech and Florida. Adding to the list of schools Parker's already visited, he also provided an impressive group of schools that are actively recruiting him: Clemson, Louisville, Tennessee and West Virginia.

While recruiting commands much of Parker's attention, playing the actual game of basketball is what he loves most, Parker said. Miller Grove is the two-time defending state champions in class-AAAA in the state of Georgia. Winning a third is important, Parker, who is averaging 18.9 points and 15 rebounds a game, said.

"I just want to come out and play hard and be the best," he said. "I love basketball. I just want to be the best basketball player. This is my favorite game. This is my only hobby, so I love it."

As for his future recruiting schedule: "Finish out the season, go strong in AAU and then try to narrow it down in the fall. I'm wide open right now."


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