May 15, 2012, 8:50 PM EDT
Jabari Parker’s already been tagged as the “next big thing” for some time now. The Chicago product and top recruit in the class of 2013 was the 2012 Gatorade national player of the year – as a junior – thanks to his impressive mix of size, skill and savvy.
Good thing, too. He’s about to earn a much-higher profile after this week’s Sports Illustrated hits.
The “best high school player since LeBron James” places more than a little pressure on Parker’s 6-9 shoulders. SI reserves its cover for pros and the occasional phenom. (Bryce Harper was one a few years ago.) To associate his name with LeBron ensures everyone’s already high expectations for Parker rise even more among hoopheads.
Meanwhile, this is certainly the first time most casual fans will have heard of him. Some will shrug off the LeBron association. But most will automatically expect Parker to be that good.
(Not to mention the wrinkle that Parker, a Mormon, may leave for a two-year mission when he’s 19.)
It’s not quite the same loaded headline LeBron received (“The Chosen One”) but it’s plenty. Saying Parker’s better than Anthony Davis, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, John Wall, Derrick Rose (or take your pick of any other touted prospect since 2004) is a strong statement. Sometimes, the comparison backfires.
Hope Parker’s ready for it.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- There’s only one way the NCAA gets UNC investigation wrong: a 2016 postseason ban 30
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer 6
- North Carolina announces receipt of Notice of Allegations from NCAA 2
- LSU’s ’25 is coming’ campaign doesn’t try to hide that they’re monetizing Ben Simmons 2
- Looking Forward: Catching up on the American’s offseason 1
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue 8
- Friday’s most important rule changes only matter if refs actually enforce them 2
- There’s only one way the NCAA gets UNC investigation wrong: a 2016 postseason ban (30)
- Sports book lists Maryland as early favorite to win national title (9)
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer (6)
- John Calipari is selling his program when he says national title isn’t a goal (5)
- Frank Kaminsky writes a farewell letter to Wisconsin fans (5)