Simeon Basketball Star Jabari Parker Headed to Duke

By Wendell Hutson on December 20, 2012 4:02pm | Updated on December 21, 2012 12:02pm

 Jabari Parker, a senior at Simeon Career Academy High School on the South Side, and ranked one of the top basketball players in the country, announced Thursday that he plans to attend Duke University next fall.
Jabari Parker, a senior at Simeon Career Academy High School on the South Side, and ranked one of the top basketball players in the country, announced Thursday that he plans to attend Duke University next fall.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

CHATHAM — Jabari Parker, ranked as one of the top high school basketball players in the country, is headed to Duke.

The highly touted recruit made the much-anticipated announcement Thursday on the court he calls home at Simeon Career Academy High School.

“I chose Duke because I feel this is where I can further develop as a basketball player and follow in the footsteps of others who have played the game,” Parker said in a news conference.

Other schools Parker, 17, said he considered were Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and Brigham Young. Parker said Florida and Michigan State were the runners-up. Parker, the nation's No. 2 recruit, averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals a game.

The 6-foot-8-inch forward, who grew up in the South Shore community on the South Side, is not the first basketball star from Simeon, 8147 S. Vincennes Ave., to set off a recruiting frenzy in his senior year.

In 2007, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose graduated from Simeon ranked as one of the top players in the country. He played one year at Memphis State before he became the top draft pick in 2009 for the NBA lottery.

Former NBA star Nick Anderson left Simeon in 1987 as a top high school player and played for the University of Illinois. Anderson was Simeon teammates with Ben Wilson, also ranked one of the top basketball players in the country. But before Wilson could announce his college choice he was shot dead not far from Simeon in 1984.

While Parker, who is a Mormon, will leave behind his family in Chicago next fall to attend Duke in Durham, N.C., he will not lose his faith.

“That’s the unique thing about my religion. There are temples all over the country, and I definitely plan on finding a temple near Duke to worship at,” added Parker.

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