Jabari Parker to undergo MRI

Updated: July 16, 2012, 2:16 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1 senior, will have an MRI taken on his right heel this week in Chicago and could sit out the July evaluation period, his father said on Monday.

Parker injured his heel while playing for Team USA in the FIBA U17 World Championship tournament in Lithuania. Parker sat out the tournament's semifinals and played 14 minutes in the title game last week.

"We got to get it check out and make sure he's comfortable," his father Sonny Parker said. "His feet are the most important thing. Plus, he needs rest. He might be able to play, but we don't want to damage anything and hurt something else. These injuries, they're not something you play with now. We don't want it to be a big setback."

Parker was expected to play with the Mac Irvin Fire at the Peach Jam, Nike's EYBL finals, this week. Sonny said that was unlikely now.

Parker's absence from the July travel circuit could potentially cost him his No. 1 ranking, but his father said that was unimportant. Julius Randle is ranked the No. 2 player in the class.

"He doesn't have anything to prove," Sonny said. "He's the hunted; he's not the hunter. His school season and health are more important.

"Right now, he's not caught up in the rankings. He's so concerned about winning that state championship for a fourth year. That's more important than the ranking stuff. People are putting it out there because they want something to talk about."

Parker released last week a list of 10 colleges he was considering to attend. The list included BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford.

As a junior, Parker was named the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year, Illinois' Mr. Basketball and the national Gatorade Player of the Year. As a junior, Parker averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per a contest in leading Simeon to its third consecutive state title.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.