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Friday, November 23, 2012
Jabari Parker likely out season opener

By Scott Powers

Simeon forward Jabari Parker, the nation’s No. 2-ranked senior, is considered doubtful for his team’s season opener on Dec. 1, his father said on Friday.

Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward, fractured his right foot while playing with Team USA at the FIBA under-17 World Championships in Lithuania in July. He is currently wearing a boot and undergoing rehab.

Simeon began practicing on Nov. 12 without Parker. The Wolverines begin their season against Milton (Ga.) at the Chicago Elite Classic on Dec. 1. They have won three consecutive Illinois Class 4A state championships.

“He more than likely won’t play in the opener,” said Sonny Parker, Parker’s father. “He has to get in shape condition-wise, get his timing and rhythm. Once he starts, it’ll probably take a week or two. We just don’t know when the time frame is in terms of him playing. He continues to do his rehab. There’s no rush. When he gets healthy, he’s going to play. When he’s not healthy, he’s not going to play.”

Jabari Parker sign
A fan holds up a sign last season encouraging Jabari Parker to play at BYU. Parker is making his official visit there this weekend.
While Parker waits to be cleared, he has continued his recruiting process. He left Chicago for his BYU official visit on Friday and still has a visit planned to Stanford for December. Parker has already visited Duke, Florida and Michigan State .

Although BYU doesn’t have the tradition of some of the programs left on Parker’s list, Sonny said it has a legitimate shot at landing his son.

“Remember he belongs to the Church of Latter-day Saints,” Sonny said. “They got one of the winningest programs in the last 4-5 years if you look at their record. They average 25 wins a year. They don’t get the recognition of others. Their conference isn’t that bad. Remember they had the player of the year in Jimmer Fredette. They have a real good program.”

Sonny expected Parker to commit sometime in December or January and sign in the spring.

Sonny said Parker also hasn’t ruled out on going on a mission after high school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' recently decided to lower the age minimum to 18 for men to serve a mission.

“We haven’t made a decision,” Sonny said. “He’s part of the church and everything. He hasn’t really talked about it yet. That’s going to be his decision whether to go on a mission. His brother went on one. He’s familiar with the missions.”

As a junior, Parker was named the Player of the Year, Illinois' Mr. Basketball and the national Gatorade Player of the Year. He averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals a game.

Parker was ESPN's No. 1-ranked player until Andrew Wiggins reclassified recently from the Class of 2014 to the Class of 2013.