College basketball remains a little over two months away from its opening tipoff November 8. Meanwhile, Duke’s next contestant on its “Summer Grind” screen is the one player on the squad needing no introduction, diaper dandy and Sporting News Preseason All-American Jabari Parker.
Heading into the 2013-2014 season, the country’s polarizing freshman class stands to be the single biggest storyline with Parker representing a paramount reason why. Before the Andrew Wiggins hype hit full-blown epidemic levels, hoops diehards will remember it was Jabari who commanded the brunt of the attention. He was the kid whose all-around game had Herculean-hype before beginning his senior year at Simeon High School, and truthfully still does. Hell, Sports Illustrated famously went as far as dubbing him the “best high school basketball player since LeBron James.”
Nevertheless, Parker appears to be fully healed from a foot injury that nagged him his senior year (he still won his fourth state title, however) and ready to lead a Duke program deep into March again. Love Duke or hate Duke – myself, I prefer the latter – the fact remains the Chicago native should entertain Blue Devils fans all year while having lowly NBA franchises foaming at the mouth. My only hope for the kid is that the student body refrains from publicly becoming entitled, spoiled brats again a la Kyrie Irving and Elton Brand if/when he decides to declare pro after his freshman season. Nevertheless, the video does its best to hammer home the point he’s a humble monster waiting to be unleashed.
As a reminder, too, mark those calendars for November 12 when Parker’s Duke squad takes on Andrew Wiggins’ Kansas’ team in the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago.