Riverside, IL, United States (AHN Sports) – The race for top college basketball prospect Jabari Parker is still wide open.
This was disclosed by Parker’s father, Sonny, saying the family has yet to create a list of colleges that the No. 1 junior in the country will probably attend.
“He’s going to narrow it down,” Sonny told espn.com. “He’s going to take his visits and he’s going to make his decision.”
Sonny added that his son also expressed interested in playing for in-state schools like DePaul and Illinois. Recently, Jabari’s father and new Illinois coach John Groce have had a couple of conversations.
“It’s hard to say whether Illinois has a chance,” Sonny said. “He likes Illinois because he’s from here. He’s mentioned Illinois. Yeah, he had relationships with former Illinois coach Bruce Weber, Jerrance Howard and those guys. It’s his home state.”
A 6-foot-9 forward at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Parker is ranked the No. 1 junior in the country by ESPN and he recently appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Meanwhile, Parker’s family said they are planning to limit the player’s availability to the media this summer for him to live like a normal teenager before he joins the college basketball recruiting fray.
“Basketball never stops, so we’re getting ready to shut it down for him,” Sonny said. “He just wants to continue to be a kid, watch cartoons, hang out with friends and everything.
Sonny added that Jabari is overwhelmed and sometimes distracted by all the attention that he is getting, especially on social media sites such as Twitter and video uploading site Youtube.
“I think Jabari is the first high school player who has experienced this social media stuff,” he said.
“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,” he added.
The elder Parker said his son has yet to absorb the overwhelming attention media has been giving him but with a full schedule ahead of him, Jabari needs to adjust quickly.
Jabari is scheduled to attend the NBPA Top 100 camp, train in Colorado and play in Lithuania with Team USA’s U17 squad, play in a couple Nike EYBL events and travel to Los Angeles to attend the ESPYS.
But if Jabari has his way, he wants to go back to the gym and improve his game.