Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Jabari Parker still considering Illini
By Scott Powers ESPNChicago.com
Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1 junior out of Chicago's Simeon Academy, said Tuesday he was sad to see Bruce Weber fired at Illinois, but he still would consider committing to the Illini.
"I was very disappointed," Parker said after Simeon advanced to the state semifinals Tuesday. "That was a person who first recruited me growing up. I feel like if the (new) coach there tried to recruit me (we) wouldn't have a better relationship than (Weber and I) had. That really plays a key."
Parker said he would still consider Illinois with a new coach because it's an in-state school.
"They'll still be in the mix because what we haven't been looking at is making our own state good," Parker said. "A lot of players they leave to go to these Kentuckys and Dukes, but they don't see the state and representing the area they're from."
DePaul and Northwestern also are recruiting Parker. DePaul coach Oliver Purnell and Illinois interim coach Jerrance Howard were in attendance at Chicago State on Tuesday. Northwestern played Tuesday in the NIT.
Parker said he would like to stay in-state, but he couldn't guarantee that would happen.
"That's important, but at the end of the day, I got to see where I'm going to be a good player at and what system holds me the best," he said.
Parker hasn't concentrated on the recruiting process during the high school season, as Simeon attempts to win its third consecutive state title, but he will do so afterward.
"This summer I'm going to narrow my choices down and really focus on the schools I'm going to visit," Parker said.
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at email@example.com.