Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – The top-ranked school in the nation landed the country’s No. 2 senior as Jabari Parker announced Thursday that he picked Duke as college destination.
Parker, a 6-8 forward out of Simeon Career Academy, chose the Blue Devils over BYU, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford.
“What brought me to the decision is, of course, the history,” Parker said. “Duke was always going to be a team in the tournament. You can’t go wrong at the program. And most importantly, the long-term investment — I feel if I go there, I can get a good degree.
Parker was ranked No. 1 in the senior class until Andrew Wiggins reclassified from the Class of 2014 into the Class of 2013 in October.
Parker’s decision continued Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s good luck with recruits in his native Chicago where he also landed Jon Scheyer (Glenbrook North), Sean Dockery (Julian), Michael Thompson (Providence) and Corey Maggette (Fenwick).
“I can also stay close to home, where it’s easily accessible for my parents, for my family. It’s not too far away. And it’s just Coach K — that’s one of the best coaches ever, and I wanted to be able to experience the things that he has next year,” Parker added.
Before announcing his decision in a press conference, Parker said he called Krzyzewski and Duke to inform them of his decision.
“He said congratulations,” Parker said. “(Duke was) pretty excited. I know (I’m) not in their mind. They land players like me all the time.”
Parker picked Duke despite experiencing the worst on-campus visit he had with the Blue Devils.
“To tell you the truth, that was probably the worst on-campus visit I had,” Parker said. “It was just because I didn’t do what I wanted to do, which was be a kid. But I know being at college is all business, and that’s what they wanted to show me.”
With Parker’s commitment, the Blue Devils have improved to No. 4 overall in the 2013 class rankings.
Parker is Simeon’s biggest recruit since Derrick Rose, who was ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2007 and attended Memphis before becoming the No. 1 overall pick by the Chicago Bulls. Nick Anderson, Bobby Simmons and Ben Wilson are also among the players who have attended Simeon.