Nov 24, 2012, 2:24 PM EST
BYU fans want top recruit Jabari Parker to be a Cougar. Badly.
That’s why, when BYU tips off against Cal State Northridge on Saturday night, a game Parker is expected to be in attendance for, 6,300 fans will be sporting T-shirts that read “Chicago to Provo”.
The T-shirts are a reference to Parker’s hometown and BYU’s Utah home, accompanied by an illustration of the Chicago skyline fading into the mountains.
The funding for the idea was the work of a website called CougarBoard.com and helped by the work of two BYU fans, Greg Welch and Tony Brown.
“I have a Twitter account, a few blogs like any crazy fan has these days, and the community I’m involved with thought, ‘What can we do to roll out the red carpet for him?’ ” Welch told ESPNChicago.com. ” ‘What can we do to add to the excitement when he is here?’ Our goal is for there to be electricity in the building and (Saturday) night is a special environment.”
Parker is also considering Stanford, Florida, Michigan State, and Duke. He received an equally unique welcome when he visited Duke last month, when fans spray-painted “Jabari, Welcome Home” on a bed sheet and hung it on campus.
The Cougars, though from a smaller program, are in an interesting situation for Parker, as his father explained to ESPNChicago.com.
“Remember he belongs to the Church of Latter-Day Saints,” he said. “They got one of the winningest programs in the last 4-5 years if you look at their record. They average 25 wins a year. They don’t get the recognition of others. Their conference isn’t that bad. Remember they had the player of the year in Jimmer Fredette. They have a real good program.”
Parker is expected to make his decision in the coming months.
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