ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers caught up with Sonny Parker, the father of super-recruit Jabari Parker, to get to the bottom of his recruitment. And, well, Powers got essentially the same answer everyone else has gotten regarding Parker’s “list”: everyone.
“He’s going to narrow it down. He’s going to take his visits and he’s going to make his decision,” the elder Parker told Powers. He also said that Jabari would start the process of narrowing down his choices by the end of the summer.
But the younger Parker has started to eliminate some people from his life. Namely, the media. Jabari will have a limited availability for interviews, which is something that tends to be necessary once Sports Illustrated claims you’re the best high school player since LeBron on the cover of their magazine:
“Basketball never stops, so we’re getting ready to shut it down for him,” Parker’s father, Sonny, said. “He just wants to continue to be a kid, watch cartoons, hang out with friends and everything.
“I think Jabari is the first (high school) player who has experienced this social media stuff. LeBron (James) and Kobe (Bryant) never experienced that. Jabari can’t go to the bathroom without being on Twitter. It’s the first time a player of his caliber you know he plays a game, gets out of the shower and he’s on YouTube.”
Sonny said all the attention has gotten to his son.
“It’s overwhelming,” Sonny said. “It could be a distraction sometimes because he still has to stay in the same routine. I think the distractions sometimes can get overwhelming.
“He doesn’t like a lot of attention. He’s managing. With all the interviews, they want to do a book, they want to do a movie, they want to do a documentary, those things. He says, ‘Dad, why do they have to follow me to school and church and home and everything?’ He’s trying to get used to that.”
Anyone who has paid attention won’t be surprised by this decision.
Parker is humble. He isn’t blinded by the spotlight, which is quite refreshing in the era of top 100 rankings, agents and 15 year old superstars.
But a word of advice for Jabari: you better get used to the attention. Because if you are as good as people expect you to be, it ain’t getting any easier.