A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jabari Parker
School: Simeon Career Academy (Chicago, Ill.)
Weight: 220 pounds
Athletic achievement: Parker led the Wolverines to a 33-1 record and a third consecutive Class 4A state championship this past season. He averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per game. The Player of the Year as named by ESPNChicago.com and the Chicago Sun-Times, Parker shot 55.2 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from 3-point range and 72.6 percent from the free throw line. Also the ESPNHS National Player of the Year in his graduating class each of the past two seasons, he averaged 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for USA Basketball’s U16 National Team during an unbeaten five-game run to the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship this past summer, capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors and earning USA Basketball’s prestigious 2011 Male Athlete of the Year award.
Academic excellence: Parker has maintained a 3.63 weighted GPA in the classroom and serves as President of Student Representatives with the Local School Council.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally with Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity), the Salvation Army and the New Beginnings Church. He is also a seminary bible study student as well as a senior citizen youth ambassador in association with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Hyde Park Ward.
“Jabari is a once-in-a-lifetime player and person,” said Paul Biancardi, National Director, ESPN Basketball Recruiting. “As a person, he is incredible, humble and hard-working, regardless of his accolades. On the court, he influences the game with his unique ability to be both a scorer and a facilitator. The versatility allows him to score in the paint and on the perimeter. He possesses outstanding size, combined with an accurate shooting touch from deep, and has added a mid- range game that makes him hard to defend. His ball-handling and passing are exceptional, as he seldom gets rattled. His overall basketball IQ and instincts to play the game at a high level at such a young age make him very special with a very bright future.”
THE FUTURE: Parker will begin his senior year of high school this fall.