Jabari Parker: Why Washington Is Good Landing Place for Country's No. 1 Recruit
Jabari Parker has the talent to play basketball anywhere in the country, but if he wants the best situation for himself, he'll choose the University of Washington.
Not in terms of talent, which he has oodles of, but in terms of personality. Parker has been dubbed as the "best high school basketball player since LeBron James" by Sports Illustrated, but unlike most young players with his type of talent, he doesn't want the spotlight.
Just watch this video for proof.
Parker has a rare combination of skill and humility. He's unique, and he's a joy to listen to.
Let's take a further look at why this unique young talent should take his talents to Seattle.
Arguably more than anything else, family is important to Jabari Parker.
Take, for example, his relationship with his brother Christian (via sistasinzion.com):
"Christian [and] Jabari Parker are brothers from the South Side of Chicago who have been inseparable since their brotherhood came to be."
And where is Christian now? At the University of Washington, where he works as a manager for the Husky basketball team.
Where will Parker go?
If Jabari wants to be close to his "inseparable" brother, he won't get much closer than being on the same team.
Additionally, Parker's father Sonny played in the NBA with Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. It has been said that Sonny doesn't fly, and that would mean Jabari would stay close to home, but Sonny denied that rumor.
Illinois will keep Jabari close to home, but he has a healthy dose of family ties at Washington.
Stay out of the Limelight
Washington is a big school, sure, but it's not as big as Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina or top programs like that.
That's a good thing for Parker, who doesn't enjoy all of the attention he gets (via ESPN):
"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."
Parker, who became the first high school athlete since LeBron James and Bryce Harper to make the cover of Sports Illustrated, will never get out of the spotlight. But if he goes to a big-time national program, he really won't get out of it.
Instead, Parker would be smart to go to the West Coast and join the Pac-12, a conference that has been receiving less and less attention lately.
The slew of top recruits heading westward in 2012 may change that, but the Pac-12 is still a better route to avoid attention than the SEC or ACC would be.
And if you think going to Washington means a drop-off in talent and drop-off in help, forget about it. The Huskies have already added Nigel Williams-Goss for 2013 and have top prospects such as Jabari Bird, Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine on the radar.
Washington is a school that, with Parker, will contend for a national championship but do so as quietly as possible.
The uber-talented Parker is a unique player because he has an old-school approach to the game and because he doesn't want fame.
Because he is so unique, the No. 1 recruit must choose a unique school. Washington, a school that isn't usually in contention for No. 1 players, would be that unique school.
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