Parker in Driver's Seat

It's been well chronicled that Jabari Parker is one of the nation's elite high school basketball prospects. A summer full of headlines that included MVP performances in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mexico and the Nike Global Games has Parker in the driver's seat of his own recruitment.

As his high school season at Chicago (Ill.) Simeon tips off on Monday, all eyes will be on Parker,'s No. 1-ranked prospect in the class of 2013. Winners of back-to-back Class 4A Illinois state championships, the Wolverines are regarded as one of the best teams in the nation, featuring a slew of high-major talent surrounding Parker. This fall, Jabari a 6-8, 222-pound forward, has worked hard to make sure Simeon is once again in position to compete for a state championship.

"He's been working out a lot; trying to prepare for his third year on varsity," said his father, Sonny Parker. "The focus has been to stay in good shape, take the tests, keep his GPA high, and qualify academically. Basically it's about staying focused and concentrating on the upcoming season."

Still, the recruiting process has been on the mind of Jabari and his family as it takes shape. Sonny mentioned that North Carolina is very much involved in his son's recruitment.

"Jabari can go anywhere he wants to go, so he's going to take his time," Sonny said. "There is no hurry right now, so we're going to take our time, take some visits, and go from there.

"With the rules we're only able to talk to coaches once a month, but Jabari has talked to Roy Williams and assistant coach (C.B.) McGrath. Everyone is busy now with the season starting, so between games and practices and school, sometimes it's hard to hear from everyone."

Jabari plans to watch a lot of college games of the schools recruiting him, including UNC.

"We recorded the (Carolina vs. Michigan State) game, and I watched a little bit of it," Sonny said. "I've got some games of programs that we've recorded and we'll look to see how adjustments are made for certain programs with their personnel."

Comparisons have already started to come in for Jabari, and although some have made comparisons to UNC star sophomore Harrison Barnes, Sonny sees Jabari in a slightly different role.

"I think Jabari is more of a natural three (than Harrison)," Sonny said.

Jabari was able to take a few unofficial visits during the fall, but there is currently no plan for any more trips. But North Carolina could potentially get a visit out of Parker in December thanks to a Simeon game near campus.

"(Simeon) plays out at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 17th, so there is a chance he can take an unofficial visit to Duke and North Carolina," Sonny said. "All of our unofficial visits out of the (Chicago) area have come because Jabari was visiting family or happened to be in the area."

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