Small forward Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon), the No. 1 player in the 2013 class, has improved at a steady rate since we first evaluated him over two years ago. He has improved his strength and conditioning which has made him more explosive and an athletic above-the-rim finisher. Plus, he has added to his already-strong skill package, which allows him to score evenly inside and out, as well as to the arc. Parker is the toughest matchup in the Class of 2013, already is drawing comparisons to Carmelo Anthony and is a scouting report headache because he causes damage in so many ways.
"Since taking over the top spot a lot more is expected from me. Each time I step on the court I have to always bring my A game" Parker said.
He is also preparing for the structure that is part of being a college athlete by keeping a pretty demanding schedule. "On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday I go to a bible study class from 6-7 a.m., from 7:35 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. school, 2:45-3:45 p.m. study hall, 4:00-6:30 p.m. practice and after practice I do extra running, shooting and ballhandling."
As far as what are the most important factors in selecting a college, Parker knows exactly what he is looking for. "The No. 1 thing I am looking for is a place where we can have immediate success and where I can get prepared for the NBA. Second, I must have a great relationship with the coaching staff and feel comfortable around the student body."
Parker has already taken many unofficial visits and has attracted attention and offers from many elite programs from all over the country.
"Right now Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Stanford, BYU and DePaul are recruiting me the hardest and I am thinking about cutting my list down maybe in a few months," he said.
One thing is for sure; Parker is an elite talent with a great work ethic and will be a program-changer from the first day he steps on campus.