Parker Picks UCLA

The #20-ranked player in the nation, Tony Parker, announced today he'll be signing a National Letter of Intent for UCLA. Get some of his comments here...

Tony Parker, the 6-8, 260-pound center prospect from Lithonia (Georgia) Miller Grove, announced Monday he'll be a Bruin.

Parker, the #20-ranked player in the nation, announced his decision at a press conference at his high school.

At the press conference, Parker stood behind a table with hats from the various programs he was considering. He first picked up the Ohio State hat, and then the Georgia hat. He then unbuttoned his jacket

to reveal a UCLA shirt and put on the UCLA hat. "I'm going to UCLA," Parker said amidst screams from the crowd.

"It is the perfect place for me to get better and be successful, and I have three great guys going there with me in Shabazz (Muhammad), Kyle (Anderson) and Jordan (Adams)," Parker said.

He picked the Bruins over Duke, Kansas, Georgia, and Memphis, and was asked about his decision.

"I was a real tough decision," he said. "I had great schools on my list. Lots of schools to choose from. But I talked to my parents and thought about it a lot."

What was it about UCLA?

Parker said: "It's UCLA. John Wooden was one of the best coaches, and won 11 national championships. UCLA is one of the winningest programs."

When asked if he considered staying close to home to be near his parents, Parker said, "They'll be allright. I've been far for a long time, so I'm kind of used to it. I thought it was time for me to broaden my horizon."

He said he's expecting to come in and make an immediate impact. "We talked about it (with UCLA Coach Ben Howland) all the time," he said. "I'm coming into be an impact player. They expect a lot from me."

It's the fourth commitment for UCLA in the 2012 class, with Parker joining friends Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams in signing with UCLA.

With Muhammad being ranked #2, Anderson #4, Parker #20 and Adams #75, UCLA should more than likely secure the #2-ranked recruiting class for 2012, behind only Kentucky.


UCLA's Official Release:

UCLA head coach Ben Howland announced today the signing of Tony Parker to a National Letter of Intent to attend UCLA in the fall of 2012.

Parker, a 6-foot-9-inch, 270-pound forward/center out of Lithonia, Ga. (Miller Grove High School), is a McDonald's All-American and joins the Bruins' signing class that is currently rated No. 1 in the country and consists of fellow McDonald's All-Americans, Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-8-inch, 225-pound point guard out of North Bergen, N.J. (St. Anthony High School) and Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-6-inch, 215-pound wing out of Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman High School) and Jordan Adams, a 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound wing out of Atlanta (Oak Hill Academy).

"It is icing on the cake today to have Tony Parker join this recruiting class," Howland said. "He is a great player that has an unbelievable work ethic. I'm so excited for our program to have a quality big man like Tony join our team and Bruin family. He has all of the intangibles to go with being a very talented player. He is a driven and motivated talent that plays with physicality, toughness, enthusiasm and passion. He's the first player in the history of the state of Georgia to play in and win four straight state championships. He is a winner and has an unbelievably bright future."

Parker led the MGHS Wolverines to four straight Georgia 4A state titles while averaging 16.8 points 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a senior in 2012. He scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds and three blocks in the state championship win over Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.) as the Wolverines ended the year 24-9. A two-time gold medalist with USA Basketball, Parker captured an 8-0 record and a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. He also helped USA to a 5-0 record and a gold medal in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mendoza, Argentina, as he averaged 8.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for the East team, which lost 106-102 to the West in the 2012 McDonald's All-American game on March 28. Parker scored eight points and had a game-high 12 rebounds for the East, which lost 99-95 to the West, in the 2012 Jordan Brand All-American Game on April 14 in Charlotte, N.C.

While at Miller Grove HS, he ended his high school career on a 16-game winning streak and an overall postseason record of 20-0 under head coach Sharman White. He was named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mr. Basketball for the state of Georgia in 2012. He was named the Georgia Hoops 2009 Freshman of the Year after averaging 7.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while starting 32 contests and leading the Wolverines to a 30-3 record and the first of four state titles. Miller Grove HS went 117-19 (.860) in his four years as a starter (2009-12).

Parker is ranked as the No. 20 player in the nation by Scout.com and ranked No. 26 by ESPN.com and No. 27 by Rivals.com. He is rated as the No. 6 center in the country by Rivals, at No. 7 by ESPN and No. 8 by Scout. He joins Muhammad, who is ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 2 by ESPN.com and Scout.com. ESPN and Scout have him rated as the No. 1 small forward in the country while Rivals ranked him as their No. 1 shooting guard. Kyle Anderson is rated as the No. 3 player in the country by Rivals.com, the No. 4 player by Scout and No. 5 by ESPN. Anderson is rated the No. 1 small forward by Rivals and the No. 2 small forward by ESPN and Scout behind Muhammad. The fourth signee of the class is Jordan Adams, who is rated the No. 41 player in the country by ESPN.com. Adams is also rated No. 62 by Rivals and No. 75 by Scout. ESPN rates Adams as the No. 9 small forward in the country while Rivals has him at No. 14 and Scout at No. 16. Muhammad's signing to UCLA jumped the Bruins from No. 12 on ESPN's recruiting class rankings to No. 3. Parker's signing to UCLA jumped the Bruins from No. 3 to No. 1 on that same list. UCLA is the only program to land two of the top five recruits in the 2012 class.


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