Chicago Colleges: Jabari Parker

Jabari ParkerJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJabari Parker might have gone to Illinois if John Groce had more time to recruit him.
Simeon coach Robert Smith believes Illinois' John Groce is on the right path as far as recruiting top talent out of Chicago.

In fact, Smith believes if Groce had been hired sooner, he might have had a shot at Jabari Parker.

Groce replaced Bruce Weber, who was fired, after the 2011-2012 season. Parker was already cutting his list of schools and eliminated Illinois from his choices. Parker had a good relationship with Weber, who had been recruiting him for years, but the uncertainty of change didn't sit well with the top recruit. Parker ultimately committed to Duke over BYU, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford.

Parker's teammates, Simeon senior guards Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn, are both signed to play at Illinois next season.

"If Illinois had hired John Groce earlier, they would have had chance with Jabari," Smith said. "He was hired too late and Jabari was already looking at other schools. He wanted to play for his home state and win a national championship here.

"[I think Groce had a chance with Parker] because of his personality, him as a coach -- he let his players play -- and his charisma. I know Jaylon and Kendrick love him as a coach and person. I think that has a lot to do with them going there."

Smith believes those characteristics that will lead to Groce receiving future commitments from Chicago's premier players. One of the biggest criticisms of Weber was he failed to retain the state's top talent. Derrick Rose, Jon Scheyer, Sherron Collins, Evan Turner and Julian Wright chose to play out of state during Weber's Illinois tenure.
Curie forward Cliff Alexander, who is ranked No. 8 in the Class of 2014, is currently one of Illinois' main recruiting targets.

"I think it can happen with Cliff and getting him there and some of the other guys over there," Smith said. "I think Illinois has a real chance in the next three or four years to really do some things. I could see them go to the Final Four and possibly win a national championship in the next three or four years.

"It's just like the vision I had for Illinois when I was interested in the job. It's playing out without me being there. Coach Groce is doing a great job with that."

Groce was given a one-year contract extension and salary raise after this past season. He led Illinois to a 23-13 record, 8-10 in the Big Ten and to the NCAA tournament in his first year.

Groce's 2013 recruiting class is ranked No. 15 by ESPN. The class includes Nunn, Tate, small forward Malcolm Hill, power forward Austin Colbert and center Maverick Morgan. Illinois will also add three transfers -- Seton Hall sophomore guard Aaron Cosby, Illinois State junior forward Jon Ekey and Western Michigan forward Darius Paul.

Parker faces backlash for Duke pick

December, 21, 2012
CHICAGO -- Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 2 senior out of Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, said Friday his decision to commit to Duke has resulted in some fans harassing him on Twitter.

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Simeon's Jabari Parker picks Duke

December, 20, 2012
CHICAGO -- Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 2 senior, committed to Duke during a press conference at his school on Thursday.

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Deng pulling for Duke in Jabari sweepstakes

December, 20, 2012
Loul DengStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesLuol Deng said holding a press conference to announce a college decision makes the day unique.
DEERFIELD -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng can relate to Simeon star Jabari Parker as the latter prepares to announce where he'll play college basketball.

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Parker's dad unsure of Jabari's choice

December, 18, 2012
Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 2 senior, has yet to decide on a college just days before a press conference that was scheduled to announce his decision, his father said Tuesday.

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Jabari to tab college choice Dec. 20

December, 12, 2012
Chicago Simeon's Jabari Parker, the No. 2 senior in the country, will announce his collegiate plans on Dec. 20, according to his high school coach.

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Isiah advises Jabari on recruiting process

December, 12, 2012
ParkerAP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastThe Chicago Sun-Times reported that Jabari Parker will announce his decision on Dec. 20.
Hall of Fame point guard and Chicago native Isiah Thomas said Tuesday he recently had an opportunity to pass on some recruiting and off-the-court advice to Chicago Simeon forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 2 senior.

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Parker picks college over mission in '13

November, 30, 2012
CHICAGO -- Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 2 senior, said Friday he will attend college rather go on a mission next year and two local schools could have been options for next year if it wasn't for coaching changes.

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The nation's no. 2 overall player, Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon), talks about what he's looking for in a school and when he anticipates making a decision.

No favorite for Jabari; opener in doubt

November, 7, 2012
Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 2 senior out of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, does not have a leader in the recruiting process, and he may miss his team's season-opener on Dec. 1 because of the fracture in his right foot.

Parker has visited Michigan State, Duke and Florida the past three weekends and still plans to visit Stanford and BYU in November. His final visit will be to BYU the weekend of Nov. 24. His father, Sonny Parker, said his son will commit after the early signing period (Nov. 14-21) and then sign in the spring.

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Top recruit Parker won't commit, sign early

October, 16, 2012
CHICAGO -- Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, doesn't plan to commit and sign during the early signing period, his father said on Tuesday.

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Jabari Parker uncertain of mission

October, 8, 2012
The basketball future of Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, could be affected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' recent decision to lower the age minimum for men to serve a mission, his father said Monday.

Church president Thomas S. Monson announced Saturday at the 182nd Semiannual General Conference that Mormon men who have graduated from high school may go on their two-year missions at 18 rather than the previous age of 19.

"I am not suggesting that all young men will -- or should -- serve at this earlier age," Monson said. "Rather, based on individual circumstances, as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available. ... We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty -- and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable, to respond to the call to serve."

Parker, who is Mormon and will turn 18 in March, had planned on attending college for at least one year, then deciding whether to go on a mission or enter the NBA draft. Parker told Sports Illustrated he was torn between heading on a mission and his dream of playing in the NBA.

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Parker narrows list to five; DePaul out

October, 5, 2012
Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, cut his list to five schools on Friday, and it includes BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford.

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Coach: Simeon's Parker to visit Florida

October, 4, 2012
Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, has scheduled an official visit to Florida to go along with his upcoming visits to Duke and Michigan State, his high school coach said Thursday.

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Parker to visit Duke, Michigan State

October, 2, 2012
Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, will make official visits to Duke and Michigan State and will soon add three other schools to his top-5 list before making a commitment in November, his father said on Tuesday.

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