While the five schools that remain in contention for the services of 2013 small forward Jabari Parker have been known for quite some time (BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford), there was the question of whether or not Parker would go on his two-year LDS mission before setting foot on the campus of his choice.
On the “Waddle and Silvy Show” in Chicago on Friday morning the Simeon High product answered that question, making it clear that he will begin college next year.
Parker previously mentioned the possibility of going on a mission. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently lowered the minimum age for going on missions to 18. Parker could have bypassed college, attended a two-year mission and entered the NBA draft. He dispelled that scenario on Friday.
“I know for a fact I’m going to college my first year,” Parker said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000.
With the Church of Latter Day Saints adjusting its rules to allow missionaries to begin their two-year mission before they attend college (need to be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate), there was even a question as to whether or not Parker would ever set foot on a college campus before landing in the NBA.
Also of note in Parker’s radio appearance were his comments on why DePaul and Illinois aren’t on his final list, specifically the Blue Demons.
“Like I said, DePaul, I put them on my list, and I was considering Illinois. The reason I took Illinois off was because I didn’t know John Groce and his staff. DePaul, I really had a good relationship with Jerry Wainwright before he resigned. Getting a new coaching staff just messed it up. The schools I picked, the coaches have been there a real long time. “
One of the biggest critiques of Wainwright (besides the steady plummet of DePaul’s win total) was the inability to recruit some of Chicago’s best players and the same was said of former Illinois head coach Bruce Weber. If anything those words are a surprise given the fact that current DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is in his third season at the school, so there was time for Parker to get to know them and vice versa.
Whoever lands Parker will get an impact player, and with today’s interview it’s now known that Parker’s impact will be felt in 2013.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.