Northwestern Pushing For Parker

Led by associate head coach Tavaras Hardy, Northwestern is making a push for five-star forward Jabari Parker, the nation's top prospect in the class of 2013. Get the details in this PurpleWildcats.com recruiting update.

Jabari Parker has offers from college basketball power programs such as Duke, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina, but his offer from Northwestern carries some intrigue.

Parker, a five-star forward, rated the top prospect in the class of 2013, is interested in a few of Northwestern's key features.

The most enticing characteristic which NU offers Parker: "The academics, of course," said Sonny Parker, once a first-round selection of the Portland Trail Blazers. "They play in the Big Ten and they're local. They have a really nice campus, good coaching staff, good, quality kids, too."

Sonny Parker runs a summer basketball league for Chicago-area players, which includes Northwestern's John Shurna and Drew Crawford.

Though the summer league connection, Sonny became acquainted with Tavaras Hardy, Northwestern's associate head coach. Hardy has led NU's charge for Jabari Parker, and the Parkers have developed a strong relationship with him.

Jabari Parker was in attendance for Northwestern's game against Illinois, watching as a spectator.

Parker has been spectacular during his junior season. On Sunday, he posted 33 points, including 24 in the first half, 12 rebounds and five blocks, while helping Chicago Simeon to its 21st win of the season.

"There's s lot of pressure because everyone wants him to have good games or great games," Sonny Parker said of his son. "All he cares about is winning."

Parker also has offers from DePaul, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan State, Ohio State, and others. However, he isn't focusing on his recruitment as Simeon chases a state championship.

"He doesn't really want to start thinking about colleges that he likes and his (top schools) list," said Sonny Parker. "He wants this season with no distractions. He likes all the schools; he doesn't really have a favorite-favorite."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college football, college basketball and college baseball for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2009. He served as a writer for Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics, and is now the Publisher of PurpleWildcats.com, covering the Northwestern Wildcats.
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