It's time to uncork the champagne bottles in Durham, as 5-star basketball recruit Jabari Parker announced on Thursday that he will be suiting up for the Duke Blue Devils in the fall.
Parker made his decision known on ESPNU in a televised special that is fully indicative of a prospect with his hype.
A top-notch small forward out of the hallowed Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Parker's decision came down to five schools: Duke, Michigan State, Florida, BYU and Stanford. In fact, each school had its own hat at the ceremony, which was captured by MLive.com's Diamond Leung:
Jabari will choose a hat, but which one? twitter.com/diamond83/stat…— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) December 20, 2012
Though Parker himself had put all of the universities on an even playing field, his father, former NBA player Sonny Parker, had told Jim Halley of USA Today that he believed the decision came between Michigan State and Duke.
The elder Parker was on hand beside his son, and the The Detroit News' Matt Charboneau captured a shot of him preparing:
Jabari Parker's father, Sonny, preparing for the announcement. twitter.com/mattcharboneau…— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) December 20, 2012
By choosing Duke, Parker will walk into a program ripe with tradition. Led by coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils are a yearly fixture in March and are currently the No. 1 team in the country.
Krzyzewski will hope that Parker is the next star in a long line of them for Duke. According to 247 Sports, Parker is considered the fifth-best prospect in the Class of 2013 and second-ranked small forward.
While those are nice rankings in and of themselves, simply saying Parker is a top recruit would wholly undersell his hype. When Parker landed the cover of Sports Illustrated back in May, the magazine dubbed him "the best high school basketball player since LeBron James."
One doesn't have to look hard to see the comparison. Listed at 6'8" and 215 pounds, Parker is one of the most explosive athletes in recent memory. Gifted with an ability to jump out of the gym, the young star oftentimes captivates audiences with his jaw-dropping dunks.
That doesn't mean he's one-dimensional, though. Also gifted with a strong inside post game and intelligence playing with his back to the basket, Parker has also been given some Carmelo Anthony comparisons.
In other words, his arrival at Duke won't come quietly.
As it's wont to do when major sports news breaks, Twitter went off with Parker's announcement. Here is a look at a few of the best tweets from around the nation.
Bleacher Report's Twitter feed got a great screenshot of Parker proudly holding up his Blue Devils gear as he announced his decision:
Jabari Parker commits to Duke twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2012
Parker said it came down to Duke, MSU and Florida.— Michael O'Brien (@michaelsobrien) December 20, 2012
On the Michigan State side of things, Chris Vannini of the Detroit Free Press wonders whether Parker's visit for the Spartans-Wolverines football game could have been a bad choice:
Jabari Parker took his official visit to MSU on the weekend of the Michigan football game. What a bad weekend, looking back.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) December 20, 2012
Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch jokingly wondered what ESPN's Dick Vitale was doing after the announcement:
Somewhere, Dick Vitale is kissing strangers. Jabari Parker to Duke.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 20, 2012
While Deitsch was worried about Vitale's reaction, Coach K's glee was on the mind of ESPN's Nick Friedell:
Jabari Parker is going to Duke. Coach K is going nuts somewhere.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 20, 2012
Duke Basketball's Twitter feed sent out a message on how much Parker revered Krzyzewski's experience in college basketball:
"He knows a lot. He comes from a real prestigious background," Jabari Parker on Coach K— Duke Basketball (@dukebasketball) December 20, 2012
ESPN's Dari Nowkah showed just how much of an impact Parker's commitment will have on Duke's recruiting class rankings:
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Parker is the highest recruit to sign with Duke since 2007:
Jabari Parker - Simeon Career Academy (Chicago): No. 2 in 2013 ESPN100, highest-ranked recruit to sign w/ Duke since rankings began in 2007.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 20, 2012
While Thursday was about Parker's collegiate announcement, ESPN's Chad Ford was already looking ahead to the 2014 NBA draft:
Jabari Parker going to Duke . He's ranked No. 3 on our 2014 Big Board. Paul Pierce may be best comp insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/resul…— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) December 20, 2012
Paul Pabst of the Dan Patrick Show also had his mind on the NBA and where Parker might find himself in 2014:
Jabari Parker is going to declare for the Wizards in about 15 months.— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) December 20, 2012
In the end, while Parker's play in high school certainly makes him worthy of the hype, he's still yet to set foot on a collegiate court. Though all signs point to him being a superstar, it's now up to him to work on his craft and become worthy of his other-worldly hype.
For now, though, Thursday is a day for rejoicing for Cameron Crazies across the world.