Chicago phenom Jabari Parker to announce college decision on Dec. 20

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Chicago phenom Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2013, will announce his college decision next week, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Parker is a 6-8, 220-pound prospect who has narrowed his choices to Duke, Michigan State, Florida, BYU, and Stanford. The Blue Devils and the Spartans are thought to be the two frontrunners for his services, having hosted him on well-publicized visits, but others remain in the race.

BYU gave Parker a grand welcome on his visit. The Cougars are in a unique position because of his Mormon faith. Florida has also made headway, as has Stanford.

Parker was the No. 1 prospect in his class for much of his recruitment, until top 2014 prospect Andrew Wiggins reclassified to 2013 and took over the top spot.

He is a versatile and athletic forward with a high basketball IQ, able to work on both the inside and outside offensively to score points. He has draw comparisons to NBA players that include Boston Celtics’ wing Paul Pierce.

Parker was in the news recently when he announced that he would be attending college during the 2013-14 school year and not immediately take part in a mission with the LDS Church.

To see high school highlights of Parker, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.