Just days before St. Nick makes his yearly pilgrimage around the world, it turns out Duke University may have received their gift ahead of time. The number two player in the country, Jabari Parker, informed the Cameron Crazies in Durham, North Carolina, would be his stomping grounds next year.
From Simeon – the legendary academy which produced Derrick Rose and “Benji” – Parker’s decision has been one of the most discussed topics in the basketball world (as well as his recovery from a fractured right foot). BYU, Stanford, Florida and Michigan State, who had been recruiting him since his freshman year, were all in the running. While not the exact reason, one had to figure the other universities served no match for Duke’s storied history and the fact Mike Krzyzewski is viewed as a NBA godfather by some of the pro game’s most powerful names. His faith wasn’t the determining factor or BYU would’ve won out. Who really knows (or cares) at this point.
The past year or so, I’ve kept a quiet eye on Parker and his co-phenom, Andrew Wiggins (the #1 player). Let the hype and their respective talents tell the story, we’re potentially looking at a “rivalry” capable of crossing high school, college and eventually professional lines. For all the talent both possess – and it is a hell of a lot – letting destiny or fate take its course and be decided on the hardwood is ideal. They’ve both got my attention though. That’s for damn sure.
The most interesting quote from Parker’s press conference in Simeon’s gym, however, came in regards to his future at Duke. “Duke is always going to be a team in the tournament. You can’t go wrong with the program,” said Parker. “Also, most importantly, it’s a long-term investment. I feel like if I go there, I can get a good degree.”
Whatever, dog. You ain’t got to lie to kick it. See you at the 2014 Draft when you’re shaking Adam Silver’s hand.